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Thursday, November 17, 2022 – Kenyans waiting for the 100 dams President William Ruto has promised to build should prepare to pay more for water.

This is after it emerged that the dams will be constructed under Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs), and Ruto’s government will let private sector players recover their money through increased water tariffs.

Speaking on the issue, Water CS Alice Wahome supported the move to charge Kenyans more for water, saying that is the only way investors will recoup their money back.

According to her, the Ruto administration is more concerned about the availability of water than the cost element.

“Don’t get worried about the issue of the water being expensive because there is also a regulative body that will deal with tariffs. We cannot worry about the cost of a commodity that we don’t have.”

“We must first develop the commodity, develop the water resources, have it, and then discuss how much we shall sell it. The rates are different depending on the structure cost, but we should not say that the PPP is likely to take the prices high. That is worrying about something that you don’t have,” Wahome stated.

Under the new framework, the more expensive a dam is, the higher the tariff.

In the past, the government would build dams and other water infrastructure using taxpayer money or funding from donors and development partners, and then locals (usually the main beneficiaries) would pay annual levies.

In Kirinyaga, for instance, rice farmers pay Sh3,000 per acre to the Water Resources Management Authority for irrigation water. A proposal to raise the levy to Sh15,000 elicited sharp criticism from the farmers in April.

The Kenyan DAILY POST.

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