Do water kiosks comply with official tariffs?

Following complaints of residents of Kimara in Dar es Salaam about the price of water to President Kikwete on May 24th 2010, EWURA issued an order (order no 10-017) to clarify the price that could be charged at water kiosks. In this order the price was set at 20 shillings per 20 liters. Analysis done by Uwazi at Twaweza suggests that the EWURA order is widely ignored and that households pay 7 to 10 times more than the official price.

The is concluded based on an analysis by Uwazi to investigate whether EWURA order no. 10-017 is followed. The analysis considers:

  • Whether the price of 20 shillings per 20 liter bucket is followed, and
  • Whether public kiosks put the EWURA announcement on public display

To investigate these questions, 40 water kiosks were randomly selected from Kinondoni, Ilala and Temeke. It was found that:

  • Only 25 of the 40 kiosks visited were operational.
  • Only 2 of the operational kiosks had the EWURA order on public display.
  • None of the operational kiosks charged the official price for water. All charged more.

These finding show that the EWURA order is blatantly and widely ignored. Instead of charging 20 shillings per 20 liters, many kiosks charge 150 to even 200 shillings per 20 liters.

To avoid that citizens are over-charged, local authorities need to ensure that EWURA’s orders are followed. However, the research reveals that a remarkable number of kiosks are rented out for a monthly fee by local government to business persons. This creates a potential conflict of interest: local government is also responsible for monitoring the price of water at standpipes. 

The research also reveals that many collect water in containers of 5 and 10 liters. There are not guidelines as to what the price for these smaller containers should be. EWURA is urged to clarify what the price per liter is, at which water should be sold at water kiosks.

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Authors: Uwazi



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