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Government will not move registration deadline for water services firms

Mr Michael Thuita, chief executive officer, Athi Water Works Development Agency. He said: “The first ingredient of any food is water, so quality of water is of paramount importance.”

Small water service providers in Nairobi were given one month to register their business. The deadline was yesterday 15 May 2020. Those who must register are water tankers, exhausters, gated community water service providers, private boreholes and community water projects. They must register online on Athi Water Works Development Agency website – www.awsboard.go.ke/registration. It is at no cost.

Water Services Regulatory Board has given power to Athi Water Works Development Agency to register and monitor small-scale water service providers in Nairobi. The board and the agency have sent out video messages on why the firms must register. Athi Water has said the deadline would not be extended.

Which firms must register?

Mr Michael Thuita, chief executive officer, Athi Water, said that the agency is registering the firms to control quality. “For those selling water we would want to know the quality of the water they are selling,” he said. “For those offering exhauster services we would want to know where they are discharging the exhausted sludge.” The government also wants to know the quality of water in boreholes.

READ – Water service firms in Nairobi must get licence by mid-May

Water Services Regulatory Board’s duty is to ensure every citizen gets efficient and effective water services at an affordable price. Mr Robert Gakubia, chief executive officer, Wasreb, said the board wants to know the quality of water dealers are selling. He said water sellers are expected to supply good quality water.

Penalty for defaulters

Mr Thuita said that without registration water services firms will not be allowed to continue doing their business. “So you are pulling yourself out of business if you are not able to register,” he said. “We shall not allow anybody who is not registered to continue offering service of either water bowsing [tankers] or exhauster services.”

Register to get a licence

Mr Gakubia said that once a business is registered it will be the first step to them receiving a business licence.

“Once you have a licence it means your services are recognised and your services are being monitored,” he said. With licence it will also mean the business will be answerable to customers for reliable and quality water.

What happens after registering?

Mr Thuita said that after registration, all service providers will be put in an online platform. This is where a service provider and a service user will be able to link up. “For water bowsing [tanker] one will go to mobile phone and request for the service online,” Mr Thuita said. “Payment for the service will also be online.”

About Kaburu Mugambi

Kaburu Mugambi is a veteran of business reporting having worked with two national newspapers in Kenya. He is a graduate of economics from Kenyatta University. He started his journalism career in 2000 with The People Daily as a business reporter before becoming a business sub-editor. He joined Daily Nation in 2004 as a business writer. He holds a post-graduate diploma in mass communication from University of Nairobi's School of Journalism and an MBA in marketing from the same university. In 2016, he founded Water Tower, a media firm focused on water, energy and climate. Its content cuts across water, energy and climate with emphasis on adaptation and sustainability.

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