By Jane Nambi
MPs have called unto government to drop the proposed water tax.
During the reading of the financial budget of 2013/2014, there was a proposed 18% water tax, a move that was met with a lot of hostility by most citizens who had started accessing clean water since the tax was first dropped. “The tax on water will affect the urban poor who will not access safe water due to increased costs. The committee on natural resources recommends that this proposal be dropped,” natural resources committee chairperson, Michael Werikhe said.
Werikhe said government has a duty to provide its citizens with clean water and should ensure that where water is paid for, it’s affordable to the poor. He then went ahead and advised government to find alternative sources of income to support the budget.
If implemented, the water tax will generate sh24b in tax revenues. According to the Minister of Environment Ephraim Kamuntu, the tax will only apply to piped water and not borehole or spring water.