Water charges: PMO awaits EWURA report

24May 2019
Polycarp Machira
The Guardian
Water charges: PMO awaits EWURA report

IN an effort to ensure the public does not pay too much for water supply, the government will soon review prices for water set by the Energy and Water Utilities Regulatory Authority (EWURA), Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa said yesterday.

He told MPs in the weekly impromptu question and answer session that after hearing a lot of complaints from the public, the government after receiving the report on new prices for water will go through it and make public its final decision.

 He was responding to a question posed by Babati Urban MP Pauline Gekul (CCM) who had argued that the new prices countrywide has increased water charges by up to 80 percent.

“What is the government doing to ensure that people get water at affordable prices since the new prices to be announced by EWURA for all the water authorities in the country are too high?” she demanded.

She also noted that the utilities body while working on the new prices saw public objections on the new prices but went further with the plan to effect the changes.

In response the premier said that it is the government’s task to provide services to people at affordable rates but in most cases it works through various agencies.

“I have to admit that there is a public outcry on new water prices but the government is yet to receive the final document from EWURA and will make the final decision,” he said.

Meanwhile the government has reiterated plans to revamp irrigation systems, saying that the recent disbandment of the irrigation commission is meant to pave way for new arrangements.

The premier said it was shameful that to date a country rich in land and water cannot attain food safety through agriculture.

The plan is to have irrigation schemes at regional, district and village levels with relevant officers to oversee the development agenda, he told MPs.

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