The Water Services Regulatory Board (WASREB), announced new regulations for water vendors in a public notice dated January 31.
WASREB announced that the new regulations set to ensure water standards are adhered to in terms of quality, cost, and customer service, would be effective immediately.
Among the demands issued to water service providers were;
Before commercializing any water point, the owner must acquire a permit from WASREB.
Vendors purchasing water for sale will only source the commodity from approved sources.
The regulatory body further banned water service providers from charging rates not approved by WASREB.
“All water service providers must be compliant with cost guidelines issued by the Regulatory Board,” the notice read in part.
WASREB further directed all vending kiosks and water tanks to conduct business at approved locations.
“All water service providers must submit vendors' health certificates. Vendors handling the water should regularly be checked for any communicable disease by public health units to ensure no pathogenic contamination takes place,” WASREB further directed.
Lastly, all water vendors must file annual reports according to a reporting format approved by WASREB.
“The notice applies to the following categories of water vending systems; water kiosks, water tankers, hand or donkey-drawn carts, water points, and private boreholes,” the Notice clarified.
The guidelines were issued amid plans by the government to privatize the water sector and increase access to the commodity.
On September 29, 2022, President William Ruto announced that his government would enter into water purchase agreements with private firms.
“We will adopt a public-private partnership framework by entering into water purchase agreements with private investors.
“I have already instructed the Treasury to work on the regulations that will facilitate the mechanism which has already been successful in the energy sector,” the President stated.
He also revealed that the privatization of the sector would raise the access to water from the current 60 per cent to 80 per cent.