The Kisumu government has defended increased charges by the local water firm.

There has been uproar from residents who have been forced to dig deeper into their pockets due to the increased water charges.

Water executive Salmon Orimba said the changes were effected after the water services regulator allowed Kisumu Water and Sanitation Company to increase consumer tariffs beginning January 10.

The Water Services Regulatory Board had given Kiwasco approval after gazetting the tariff increment upon completion of public consultations.

“There should not be cause for alarm over the increased water bills. It is purely meant to improve the water provision to residents,” Orimba said.

He warned water vending kiosks, especially in slum areas, not to increase the price per jerrycan.

Orimba said a 20-litre jerrycan of water should be sold at Sh2. Water retailers will pay Sh60 per cubic metres of water (1,000 litres of water) and sell at Sh75 per cubic metres.

He said the minimum consumer will pay as low as Sh145, after the removal of the minimum cost of Sh420.

Company’s managing director Thomas Odongo said Wasreb approved the Kiwasco’s application for the regular tariff review 2021-22 to 2024-25 as per the gazette notice dated December 10, 2021.

In a letter dated December 14, 2021, Odongo said the regulator noted that the review conforms to water sector regulations and is in line with changes in the consumer price index in the country.

The increment means that most Kisumu residents, who consume an average 13 cubic metres of water per month, will part with approximately Sh1,915 up from Sh1,272.

This amount is inclusive of sewerage charges, which are 55 per cent of the amount charged on water units consumed, and Sh70 as conservancy.

For residents who consume one to six cubic metres of water, their tariffs have increased to Sh75 from Sh50 under the domestic category.

Those who consume between six and 20 cubic metres of water will pay Sh110 per cubic metre.

Commercial consumers using between one and 50 cubic metres will pay Sh115 per unit, while those consuming between 51 and 100 will part with Sh130 for each unit.

Those using between 101 and 300 cubic metres will pay Sh145 for each unit. More than 300 cubic metres are required to pay Sh160 for each unit.

Public learning institutions will pay Sh45 per unit for those who consume between one and 600 cubic metres.

On sewer charges, domestic users will pay Sh40 per cubic metre of between one and 6 cubic metres, while seven to 20 will part with Sh55 per unit.

Under commercial consumers, one will pay Sh60 per unit of cubic metres of between one and 50.

Wasreb has in the past months approved upward tariff reviews for counties like Nyeri, Embu, Kiambu, Nairobi and Uasin Gishu by between 70 per cent and 100 per cent – highlighting the national scope of the adjustments.

Water tariff reviews are meant to be done once every three years.