• Thu. Mar 23rd, 2023

Kiambu: Exhauster operators decry increase in discharge fees, down tools


Jan 6, 2023
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Exhauster operators in Kiambu now want the local government to rescind the decision to increase the fees they are charged by the county for discharging waste every month.

The county government, through its water service providers, is said to have increased the fees from Ksh5,000 to Ksh15,000 per month effective January 1, 2023.

The Water Services Regulatory Board (WASREB), a statutory body charged with economic and service regulation of the water services sector is reported to have pronounced the decision through a gazette notice 12316 following a series of public participation forums attended by stakeholders.

Protesting the decision, they termed as intolerable owing to other numerous levies they remit to different government agencies among them the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) and insurance fees, the operators said they have been making losses since the implementation of the decision began.

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To worsen the situation, the operators decried the pathetic state of roads leading to various discharge points at Kang’oki village in Thika, a challenge they lamented as having resulted in accidents, vehicles breakdown, and ultimate loss of business.

Exhauster operators down tools

Led by Martin Karanga Gikonyo who is their chairman, the operators who addressed journalists in Thika town where they staged protests regretted that despite paying huge taxes, the government has not been giving them value for money.

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“We have been paying so many taxes to discharge the waste we collect from various parts of the county but we are not getting value for the taxes. Our vehicles have broken down on our way to discharge points as the roads there are very dilapidated,” Karanga said,

Having downed their tools, Gikonyo stated that the impasse, if unaddressed, could result in spread of Cholera disease that is widespread in the county.

“We are stakeholders in the fight against Cholera but with the ongoing strike of exhauster operators, the Cholera situation might only worsen,” Karanga added.

The operators at the same time urged the governor Kimani Wamatangi-led government to increase raw sewage discharge points and treatment centers to avoid overcrowding in Thika.

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Moses Njuguna, an exhaust driver, narrated a myriad of challenges that they have been grappling with in their daily operations and urged the government to look into them.

“The county must rise to provide quality services to its people. We need good roads to carry out our very important activities and a good working environment to facilitate our operations,” Njuguna said.

Thika Water and Sewerage Company (THIWASCO) management which has been implementing the WASREB decision stressed that the operators were fully informed and even participated in coming up with the proposal.

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