High electricity bills affecting water companies

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The Council of Governors (COG) has warned that water companies in the country might close down business soon due high electricity bills in addition to effects of Covid-19 pandemic which makes them unable to force clients to pay water bills.

The council now wants Kenya Power Company to review tariffs charged on the Water Providers downwards to help address the financial crisis.

The call to review the tariffs comes in the wake of government directives to Water Companies not to disconnect water to consumers during the ongoing Covid-19 crisis.

Nakuru Governor Lee Kinyanjui said Water companies were spending over 60 percent of their revenue on electricity bills, adding it was unsustainable.

Kinyanjui who chairs the Urban, Planning and Housing committee in COG called on the Cabinet Secretary Sicily Kariuki for Water to engage her counterpart in the Energy docket to have the tariffs reviewed.

“The government should review the electricity tariffs charged on water companies as the current rates are very high and they are negatively affecting service delivery,” he said.

Speaking after touring offices of the Naivasha Water Company, the governor welcomed the ongoing project to supply water to the Industrial park at Mai Mahiu area and asked the government to ensure that the locals, who for years have suffered from high fluoride water also benefit from the project.

On the controversial Malewa dam, he said that the county fully backed it as it would address the issue of the high fluoride and flooding in Lake Naivasha.

This came as members of the Lake Naivasha Riparian Association (LNRA) who for years have opposed the construction of the Sh35 Billion dam changed their stand to supporting it.

In a swift turnaround of the association’s stand on the dam construction, chairman Mark Kariuki, said although the dam could have some negative effects on Lake Naivasha, the economic gains outweighed the losses.

He however advised on the need to engage stakeholders before works on the dam in Aberdare forest in Kinangop, Nyandarua County starts.

Last week the CS for Water Sicily Kariuki said that they were ready to engage those opposed to the dam to come up with the way forward.