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How billions were lost in unpaid water bills

Government audit reveals Nairobi Water and Sewerage  Company never charged  for 40 per cent of  the water it supplies to city residents leading to loss of a whopping Sh2.1 billion in one year.

Two in every five litres of water supplied  to city residents is not  paid for, NairobiNews can authoritatively report.

The Nairobi Water and Sewerage Company does not charge  40 per cent of the water produced and supplied to Nairobians or if charged, the money does not end at the company’s coffers in their Industrial Area office.

An audit report by the Auditor General tabled  at the City County Assembly last week pokes holes into the  loss of millions of litres of water in the year ending 2012, threatening future profitability of the company charged with managing and supply of water resources in the city.

“Only 107,106,635 cubic metres of water out of the 178,873,709 produced was billed to customers. This amounted to 40 per cent  of the water not being charged,” notes the report signed by Auditor General Edward Ouko.

Unbilled

According to the report exclusively seen by NairobiNews, the value of this unbilled water stood at  a whopping Sh2.1 billion.

Investigations, however, show the water could still be billed using fake receipts or unscrupulous staff failing to account for these payments.

 There was also existence of illegal water connections, especially in low cost estates where water officers were unable to access and disconnect the water due to hostility of water thieves.

Some water accounts were found to be active but no bills ever came; yet in those areas where bills came regularly, there were shortages in supply.

The report shows that some active accounts  with bills worth Sh85 million were no longer getting bills and did not have receipts meaning the money was not being asked for.

The firm’s account books are so mismanaged that the Auditor General could not ascertain the value of current liabilities that stood at Sh1.9 billion.

It also questions why the company’s directors  get a salary and airtime worth Sh3.3 million every month yet they earn allowances when they meet.