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Water vendors make a killing in Kitengela

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Residents have been grappling with water
Residents have been grappling with water scarcity for the last one year. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

An artificial water shortage continues in Kitengela Township in Kajiado County and its environs, as unscrupulous water vendors mint millions to the chagrin of thirsty locals.

Residents have been grappling with water scarcity for the last one year. The problem has, however, escalated during this Christmas season.

Salty borehole water vendors have their fair share of the market, but fresh water vendors from Nairobi have taken the dusty town by storm. Water tankers from Nairobi are all over Kitengela Township, making a killing from hawking the much-needed commodity.

Vendors from Nairobi have taken advantage of the Export Processing Zone (EPZA)’s water rationing for the past six months to mint millions.

EPZA in Mavoko Sub-County sources water from Nairobi Water Company and sells to Athi River and Kitengela residents.

Vendors are reaping big, with a 20-litre jerrican costing Sh50.

A 5,000-litre fresh water tanker costs Sh6,000 while 10,000 litres is charged at Sh9,000. The cost goes high depending on the residential area.

Ironically, these fresh water vendors claim to buy water from Nairobi Water Company outlets, the same firm that is said to be rationing the commodity to EPZA.

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The tankers are said to be owned by powerful persons. Each can make more than five trips, earning more than Sh30,000 for 5,000 litres and Sh45,000 for 10,000 litres tanker.

They cover 26 kilometres from Nairobi to Kitengela and regardless of the transport cost, make a tidy profit.

Some unscrupulous water vendors are said work in cahoots with some officials from water firms to make business.

“The water scarcity is being artificially orchestrated by unscrupulous vendors and the water firms. A need has been created and a supply established for few people to benefit,” said Mr Titus Muthee, a Kitengela resident.

The most affected residential estates, include New Valley, Milimani, Norkopir and part of Kapiti. Residents, who can’t afford to buy fresh water, are forced to trek long distances in search of salty water from private boreholes.

Nominated Senator Mary Seneta also said that the current water crisis in Kitengela was being artificially created by powerful cartels.

“Cartels working in cahoots with water company officials have taken over the water business in Kitengela. Water business is now for the rich and powerful. Instead of coming up with a permanent solution, they are rationing water to create bigger market for fresh water and exploit local residents to the last coin,” Ms Seneta added.

Meanwhile, the Kajiado County government has established a water board mandated to come up with a water policy to streamline supply in the entire county.

Recently, Kajiado Governor Joseph Lenku said the county government would regulate salty borehole water supply.

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World Bank pushes G-20 to extend debt relief to 2021

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World Bank Group President David Malpass has urged the Group of 20 rich countries to extend the time frame of the Debt Service Suspension Initiative(DSSI) through the end of 2021, calling it one of the key factors in strengthening global recovery.

“I urge you to extend the time frame of the DSSI through the end of 2021 and commit to giving the initiative as broad a scope as possible,” said Malpass.

He made these remarks at last week’s virtual G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meeting.

The World Bank Chief said the COVID-19 pandemic has triggered the deepest global recession in decades and what may turn out to be one of the most unequal in terms of impact.

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People in developing countries are particularly hard hit by capital outflows, declines in remittances, the collapse of informal labor markets, and social safety nets that are much less robust than in the advanced economies.

For the poorest countries, poverty is rising rapidly, median incomes are falling and growth is deeply negative.

Debt burdens, already unsustainable for many countries, are rising to crisis levels.

“The situation in developing countries is increasingly desperate. Time is short. We need to take action quickly on debt suspension, debt reduction, debt resolution mechanisms and debt transparency,” said Malpass.

ALSO READ:Global Economy Plunges into Worst Recession – World Bank

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Kenya’s Central Bank Drafts New Laws to Regulate Non-Bank Digital Loans

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The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) will regulate interest rates charged on mobile loans by digital lending platforms if amendments on the Central bank of Kenya Act pass to law. The amendments will require digital lenders to seek approval from CBK before launching new products or changing interest rates on loans among other charges, just like commercial banks.

“The principal objective of this bill is to amend the Central bank of Kenya Act to regulate the conduct of providers of digital financial products and services,” reads a notice on the bill. “CBK will have an obligation of ensuring that there is fair and non-discriminatory marketplace access to credit.”

According to Business Daily, the legislation will also enable the Central Bank to monitor non-performing loans, capping the limit at not twice the amount of the defaulted loan while protecting consumers from predatory lending by digital loan platforms.

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Tighter Reins on Platforms for Mobile Loans

The legislation will boost efforts to protect customers, building upon a previous gazette notice that blocked lenders from blacklisting non-performing loans below Ksh 1000. The CBK also withdrew submissions of unregulated mobile loan platforms into Credit Reference Bureau. The withdrawal came after complaints of misuse over data in the Credit Information Sharing (CIS) System available for lenders.

Last year, Kenya had over 49 platforms providing mobile loans, taking advantage of regulation gaps to charge obscene rates as high as 150% a year. While most platforms allow borrowers to prepay within a month, creditors still pay the full amount plus interest.

Amendments in the CBK Act will help shield consumers from high-interest rates as well as offer transparency on terms of digital loans.

SEE ALSO: Central Bank Unveils Measures to Tame Unregulated Digital Lenders

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Scope Markets Kenya customers to have instant access to global financial markets

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NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 20 – Clients trading through the Scope Markets Kenya trading platform will get instant access to global financial markets and wider investment options. 

This follows the launch of a new Scope Markets app, available on both the Google PlayStore and IOS Apple Store.

The Scope Markets app offers clients over 500 investment opportunities across global financial markets.

The Scope Markets app has a brand new user interface that is very user friendly, following feedback from customers.

The application offers real-time quotes; newsfeeds; research facilities, and a chat feature which enables a customer to make direct contact with the Customer Service Team during trading days (Monday to Friday).

The platform also offers an enhanced client interface including catering for those who trade at night.

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The client will get instant access to several asset classes in the global financial markets including; Single Stocks CFDs (US, UK, EU) such as Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Google, BP, Carrefour;  Indices (Nasdaq, FTSE UK), Metals (Gold, Silver); Currencies (60+ Pairs), Commodities (Oil, Natural Gas).

The launch is part of Scope Markets Kenya strategy of enriching the customer experience while offering clients access to global trading opportunities.

Scope Markets Kenya CEO, Kevin Ng’ang’a observed, “the Sope Markets app is very easy to use especially when executing trades. Customers are at the heart of everything we do. We designed the Scope Markets app with the customer experience in mind as we seek to respond to feedback from our customers.”

He added that enhancing the client experience builds upon the robust trading platform, Meta Trader 5, unveiled in 2019, enabling Scope Markets Kenya to broaden the asset classes available on the trading platform.

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