The Kenya Flower Council (KFC) has warned of job losses if the Water Services Regulations, 2021 are implement The council said the move to increase water tariffs from 50 cents per unit to Sh5 would lead to a closure of several farms that are yet to fully recover from the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Last month, the Ministry of Water published the regulations, which have been backed by the World Bank, leading to an outery from the Council of Governors and other stake holders. According to KFC Chief Executive officer Clement Tulezi, flower farms are some of the major water users, and the regulations would hurt them.
Tulezi said they were not involved in the process of coming up with the regu lations, which he termed as unfair and unatainable.
"we are working on a pettion to oppose these new regulations, and we are ready to go to court it need De to stop their implementation," he said.
The CEO noted that the move to increase the tariffs would see the cost of production rise at a time when the prices of flowers globally had stagnated for months
"Flower farmers were not involved in coming up with these regulations, and we are ready to go to court to stop their implementation," he said.
Tulezi noted that the water harvested from greenhouses was not enough for use in the flower farms, forcing farmers to rely on water companies.
" Currently we are suffering from the high cost of electricity, fuel, farm inputs, and fights, and the government. which never listens, has decided to antagonise us further" he said.
However, the chairman of Lake Naivasha Water Resource Users Association Enock Kiminta welcomed the increase, terming the regulations as timely. He noted that five per cent of the proceeds collected by the ministry should go towards conservation efforts in water towers.
He noted that for years, many companies, including the flower farms, had continued to benefit from water without knowing the source and the efforts involved in conservation.
"We welcome the increase in the water tariffs, and we are demanding that five per cent of the funds collected should go towards supporting conserva tion efforts," he said.
Earlier, Nyandarua Governor Francis Kímemía, who is also the CoG chairperson of the water, forestry and natural resources manage ment committee, said they were left in the dark about the changes.
"I wish to categorically state that the Council of Governors will not support these increments as doing so would be tantamount to denying the provision of accessible water and sanitation to Wanjiku" he said.
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