Water agency puts on notice non-compliant water companies

Nairobi Sub-basin Area Manager Robinson Kimari, Chairman Donald Murgor and Water Resources Authority CEO Mohamed Shurie. [Courtsey]

Kenyans who have been extracting ground or surface water for use without permits have been put on notice and urged to renew their licences. 

Water Resource Authority (WRA) chief executive Mohamed Shurie raised concerns over increasing cases of non-compliance among water dealers.

He cited two cases where a company was convicted for failure to pay water use charges for water abstraction and a proprietor was fined for contempt of court and contravening court orders on permitting.

To address these challenges of non-compliance, Shurie said that the authority has integrated the compliance services on e-citizen and urged the water abstractors to apply for permits.

Shurie further issued a directive requiring water abstractors to renew their permits within the next 30 days.

"Members of the public with expired permits or without a valid permit from WRA are required to visit designated WRA offices in their areas to renew their expired permit and regularize their abstractions with the Authority within a period of 30 days from the date of the notice," the statement read in part.

He explained that the process has four categories of applications and renewal of licenses.

Shurie said that water use activity deemed to have a low risk of impacting the water resource is classified under category A while that with a potential impact on water is classified under category B.

At the same time, a water activity deemed to have a measurable impact on the water resource and another that involves complexity and large-scale production are classified under categories C and D respectively.

Shurie said that the applications of the first three categories will be handled by WRA regional offices albeit category C will require consideration by Basin Area Water Resources Committees (BWRCs)

Category D, he said, will be determined by WRA regional offices after consideration by BWRCs and approved at the agency’s headquarters.

WRA warned that failure of the water firms to align with the compliance regulations will attract "disconnection of the water works and prosecution of the owner will be executed without further notice."

Water companies are required, under the Water Act 2016, to obtain permits for all water works and distribution of water for various uses in the country.

"In contravention to this regulation, several permit holders/contractors/borehole owners have failed to submit to WRA the permit application/renewal documents and other records," Shurie said.