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New rules for operators of water bowsers and honey-suckers

It will no longer be business as usual for water vendors and exhausters in Nairobi with Nairobi City Water and Sewerage Company announcing a raft of new measures aimed at weeding out cartels.

Going forward, operators without a compliance certificate from Nairobi Water risk arrest and prosecution.

Announcing the new conditions, the urban utility firm’s Managing Director Engineer Nahashon Muguna said that they have kicked off inspection of all registered water tankers and exhausters operating in Nairobi.

The exercise that will run between June 17 and July 2, 2020, will see the service providers issued with a compliance certificate to continue operating.

“Those who will not have been inspected and issued with a compliance certificate by Thursday, July 2, 2020, shall be arrested and prosecuted in accordance with the law,” said Mr Muguna through a notice in the local dailies.

Henceforth, added Mr Muguna, water tankers or bowsers supplying water in Nairobi will be subjected to inspection at the Wilson Airport water reservoir in South C before commencing operations.

In the new measures, owners of the water bowsers or tankers will have to provide a quality certificate of the source of water issued by a certified government laboratory.

The name of the owner of the business as well as the telephone number shall clearly be marked with 75mm letters on both sides of the tanker, which should be painted sky blue and the interior lined with food bitumen while the tanker’s body should be devoid of rust.

This is in addition to being fitted with a water sampling point and the tanker volume clearly indicated on the body of the tank and have a graduated level indicator on the side as well as the bowsers having a 600mm circular lockable inspection chamber.

The new development follows a directive in April this year by Water Services Regulatory Board (Wasreb) that all water vendors using bowsers within metropolitan area apply for registration and undergo strict vetting and licensing before being given the go-ahead to operate.

A honey sucker.

According to the guidelines, the vendors had until May 15 to have applied for registration with those found culpable of providing water services after the said deadline without a license being liable for prosecution.

The new directive was aimed at weeding out cartels who have invaded the water supply business in Nairobi by making it easier to track where the water is coming from and even the consumers.

For exhausters, they will be required to present clearance certificates from the National Environmental Management Authority (Nema) as well as pay annual discharge fees before a sub-license can be issued.

The original letters of approval to discharge into approved discharge points, payment receipts for discharge license and the business permit issued by Nairobi Metropolitan services (NMS) will need to be displayed on the exhauster tank.

Going forward, all exhausters will have to be repainted to brown colour and inspected at the Kariobangi Sewerage Treatment Works (KSTW) before being allowed to continue with operations in the capital.

The volume shall be clearly indicated on the body of the exhausted, which should be fitted with a sealed tank and accessories that are leak proof to liquid and gases.

Further, the capacity of the exhauster will have to be indicated on both sides and the rear with the letters being at least 75 mm in size as well as the word “exhauster” placed on all sides and the rear of the tank.

“We reserve the right to cancel the permit to discharge into its sewerage system or impose requisite fees in the event that you fail to comply with the laid down conditions,” he said.