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Governor Evans Kidero defends decision to appoint George Aladwa to lead Nairobi Water

COUNTY_NAIROBI
By CYRUS OMBATI | March 31st 2014
George Aladwa, his appointment to Nairobi Water and Sewerage Company has been challenged. [PHOTO: STANDARD/FILE]

By CYRUS OMBATI

NAIROBI, KENYA: Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero has defended the nomination of immediate former mayor George Aladwa as the chairman of Nairobi Water and Sewerage Company.

Aladwa is set to replace outgoing chairman Peter Kiguru whose term has come to an end. A stakeholders’ meeting last Wednesday ratified Aladwa’s appointment ahead of the board’s meeting that is yet to take place to conduct the elections.

Kidero spoke after Kuguru objected the move saying it was not procedural.

“In line with the directive of the sector regulator the status quo at the NCWSCL remains unchanged .I therefore inform all BOD members in the registrar’s record they are in the office legally. In this regard I direct the MD and CS to facilitate board and board committees as usual until formalization of transition by the Governor’s office and stakeholders is effected,” said Kuguru in his letter to members of the board.

But Kidero said Monday that the company is under his government and they are will within the law to nominate Aladwa to join the board.

“Ask Kuguru to cite any law that backs him he is out of order and he needs to read all laws that govern the water sector,” said Kidero.

He added the process to change the directors at the registrar of companies is ongoing.

Kidero said he expects Aladwa and the company management team to steer it to a new level of delivery of services to the city residents.

The company is a water service provider charged with the provision of the water and sewerage services in Nairobi.

It has an independent Board of 12 directors constituting of professional individuals drawn from private sector organizations, professional bodies, the NGO sector and the City Council.

The move comes at a time when NWSCO plans to increase the cost of water. It has asked the Water Services Regulatory Board for authority to increase water tariffs in the city.

The Nairobi water firm serves more than 600,000 customers.

It says new proposed tariffs are necessary to improve delivery through a number of investments that will, among other things, aim to achieve uninterrupted water supply by 2016.

The company cites the cost of electricity, water treatment chemicals, pipes, fuels, lubricants, sewers and fittings, which have risen significantly – necessitating the review.

The water firm argued in its proposal the review is necessary because the existing water infrastructure has become unsustainable with rising demand.

If approved, the new prices would remain in place for three years, officials said.

Currently, it uses increasing block tariffs to bill specific categories of customers and they include domestic, commercial, public institutions and schools.

Tariff bands apply to consumers based on how many cubic metres of water they consume.

Reports say the firm plans to invest close to Sh80 billion in the improvement of supply infrastructure in the next three years in a project that includes improving sewerage systems, pipe replacements, customer data clean-up and network mapping.

About 38 per cent of the water supplied by the firm is not billed, a problem that has mostly been caused by illegal connections.

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