Water Pricing and the Poor: Designing and delivering improved subsidies for water and sanitation services in Nairobi, Kenya

Background of why the project started EfD-Kenya’s previous and ongoing engagement with Nairobi City Water and Sewer Company (NCWSC), the National Water Regulator (WASREB), and the Water Services Trust Fund indicate that policy makers are compelled to keep water prices low and implement an increasing block tariff (IBT) to protect the poor. Despite evidence that the IBT in Nairobi is not achieving this objective, policy makers have not been presented with alternative means to subsidize the poor. This project seeks demonstrate that there are viable alternatives to delivering subsidies to low-income customers in Nairobi.​

Aim:This project seeks to remove a critical barrier to pricing of municipal water and sanitation services in low- and middle-income countries more effectively by demonstrating that it is possible to effectively design and deliver subsidies to low-income households. Improving the design of subsidies for water and sanitation services is a critical step in enabling policy makers to implement pricing practices that promote efficient water use (promote sustainability), improve service delivery (improve public health), and expand access to piped water and sanitation services to low-income households (reduce poverty and promote gender equality).

In particular, this project seeks to;Catalogue existing targeted social protection programs in Kenya,examine customer preferences regarding subsidies and subsidy delivery mechanisms, gain granular insight into barriers to delivering subsidies to “hard to reach” customers (e.g., renters and those with shared connections)

Present state: Data collection completed in summer 2019. Data analysis ongoing. ​

Problems of the environment or other relevant issues: Water use and conservation; poverty alleviation; gender equality; environmental health​

Project status
Project | 5 February 2020