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By ALICE NACHILEMBE
Minister of Water Development, Sanitation and Environment Protection Dennis Wachinga says Government is not charging tax on boreholes.
Dr Wachinga said that there has been some misinformation over the signing of the Statutory Instrument (SI) concerning the drilling of boreholes.
“People are saying they have to pay tax to sink well. The truth is that we are only registering boreholes. The SI states that if someone has drilled a bore at their house government will be charging to register the borehole. The charge is only a one off in the life time of the borehole. Wells are not included in the SI.
“Government felt that it was necessary to regulate underground water in the same way we regulate wild life and mineral resources for sustainability. For a long time Government has not regulated the underground water. We were registering on surface water through what was called water board but the last substantive regulation on water was pulled off,” he said.
The Minister said water regulations would enable sustainability management of the resource and also to allow for income for the institution looking after it.
Dr Wachinga said SI contains the regulation of those people who are drilling boreholes to pay something to register their borehole and also to get hold of the drillers because in some cases they have been cheating people.
He said that the regulation has even specified the minimum distances between the septic tanks and source of contamination.
Dr Wachinga said Government knows that water utility firms can’t manage to supply water to all places in peri-urban and rural areas.
He said in this case a utility company would assist and advice on where to dig the wells and provide necessary service.
Dr Wachinga said Government has noticed that wells are the many drivers of epidemics like cholera and other water borne diseases.
“The Government is not charging any tax on the borehole but it only registering to the institution that is mandated to regulate underground water to meet operation cost,” he said.