A new tariff is set to push the cost of water in Nairobi by 40 per cent. The new hike comes after the water services regulator, Nairobi City Water and Sewerage Company (NCWSC), sought higher tariff review to recover costs, pay loans and upgrade infrastructure.
Following this proposal by the NCWSC, the Water Services Regulatory Board (Wasreb) has given Nairobi residents one month to submit their views on the proposed higher consumer tariffs.
The NCWSC is seeking the approval to increase water tariffs by between 20.44 percent and 39.57 percent depending on monthly consumption levels.
The planned tariff adjustment will force water consumers to dig deeper into their pockets. Consumers who take an average of 15 cubic metres of water per month or 15,000 litres will pay about Sh. 1,685 up from the current Sh. 1,241.
This will be inclusive of sewerage charges – which are 75 per cent of the amount charged on water units consumed – and Sh. 50 as meter rent.
This is the latest attempt at increasing the cost of water. In mid-2021, water bills in Kenya were set to rise after the government raised regulatory charges on water companies by ten times.
The raised regulatory charges were in line with regulations from the World Bank which the government had agreed to. The regulations which were published by the former Water, Sanitation, and Irrigation Cabinet Secretary Sicily Kariuki raised user charges from 50 cents per cubic metre to Sh. 5 for domestic use and livestock farming.
In addition, water companies will be required to top up five percent of the charges as conservation levy. The regulations also gave power to the Water Resource Authority’s (WRA) to review the charges annually.
“The Authority [WRA] shall adjust the water use charges annually to give effect to indexation by reference to the officially published annual inflation index,” the regulations said.
WRA was charging 50 cents per cubic metre for water for homes, livestock, and irrigation, while commercial use attracted a charge of 75 cents for use over 300 cubic metres.
Kenyans pay an average of Sh. 93 per cubic metre or 1,000 litres for water piped to homes, in addition to other levies.