Complaints And Resolution Of Disputes – Water Sector
Section 34 of EWURA Act Cap 414 requires the Authority to attend to complaints against a supplier of regulated goods or services in relation to any matter connected with the supply, possible supply or proposed supply of goods or services. There is a dedicated unit, under Director of Legal Division which receives and follow up complaints from consumers of regulated goods and services.
Consumer complaints handling procedure focuses on:
- Consumer Protection- The need for service providers to provide reliable, quality and affordable goods or services;
- Preference to amicable complaints settlement procedure as opposed to litigation;
- Having a speedier, just and less bureaucratic complaints handling procedure.
Who can file a complaint?
- Any person (consumer);
- EWURA Consumer Consultative Council (EWURA CCC) or an authorized representative of aggrieved party;
- A group of people may file a complaint attaching the following documents:
- List of names and signatures;
- Minutes of the meeting with a resolution to file a complaint;
- name/s of representative/s and contact;
The Authority has set up Rules on Consumer Complaints Settlement Procedure, GN. No. 10 of 2013 to be applied in handling complaints. For the rules to enable a service provider to be accountable, complaints should be reported within a specified time limit as indicated in the table below. Limitation periods are based on the nature of complaint. A complaint lodged after the time limit will not be considered, hence consumer end up losing their rights to quality service or goods. The main reason for setting time limit is to enable the Authority to act timely, to collect evidence which will help in resolving the matter with integrity.
TIME LIMIT TO LODGE COMPLAINT
|NATURE OF COMPLAINT||PERIOD OF LIMITATION|
|Unlawful disconnection of service||twelve months|
|Improper Billing||twelve months|
|Failure or refusal to connect the service||twelve months|
|Poor quality of service||twenty four months|
The Authority guide consumers on their rights and obligation of consumer and how to lodge complaint by filling a Complaint Form. The Authority maintains a Complaints Register for all reported complaints.
About 195 complaints from consumers of water and sanitation services have been received so far, out of which 85%, have been resolved. The composition of the complaints received for the water sector is as indicated below.
COMPOSITION OF RECEIVED COMPLAINTS
|NATURE OF COMPLAINT||%|
|Unlawful disconnection of service||24%|
|Others (sewer, tariff and poor customer service)||29%|