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EXPLAINED: Why city residents are paying higher water bills

Nairobi’s four million residents are coming to terms with higher water bills after the Nairobi City Water and Sewerage Company (NCWSC) revised its water tariff rates beginning September.

Residents have raised concern on high September water bills, with some said to be four times higher than previous bills.

The water company revised its tariffs from the flat rate of Sh45 per unit consumed to a formula of clusters depending on consumption patterns.

In the new tariff, residents who consume between one to six units will pay a flat rate of Sh200.

Families that consume between seven to 60 units will pay Sh45 per unit, while commercial users who consume over 60 units will pay Sh64 per unit.

Managing director Phillip Gichuki told Nairobi News that they suspect the reason city residents are complaining of high water bills is because the company replaced old water meters with new ones that are more efficient and accurate in recording amount of water consumed.

The old meters, he said, were worn out and prone to inaccurate readings.


He blamed the high bills on leaking pipes and households that leave running taps without care.

“The people of Nairobi love to waste water. They shower with the water running, they leave taps without turning them off, they also don’t care if the pipes are leaking,” said Mr Gichuki.


A resident caused a storm on social media recently after she received her September water bill of Sh 27,000.

“How will we be able to survive if the cost of water and school fees are the same,” she lamented.