Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Nairobi Water Company's haphazard water delivery

It is now over 2 weeks that the Parklands/Highridge area has seen any water coming through the taps, yet, other places are getting water, though, in an erratic manner. This is reminiscent of the whole country and its many water delivery outfits. None of these people are consistent and reliable when it comes to water delivery 'services'.

And the irony of the area mentioned above is that, there is a water tank still overflowing with the precious fluid right next door at the former Highridge Teacher's Training College. While the people living right next 'door' to this offending overflowing tank, are going without a drop of water for weeks on end.

The Nairobi Water Company even has the temerity to send their offensive phantom water bills and their goons to disconnect water meters of people who have not had water for ages, thanks to their incompetence.

Why is it that some areas of Nairobi get water all the time, i.e. are not prone to their water rationing while other areas like the one mentioned above hardly get any water. Do these people have anything called planning in their 'working horizons'?!

One wonders if there is planning of ANY KIND applicable to this incompetent, bloated and corrupt government. The only thing they are capable of 'planning' is how to tax the public for their own selfish ends!

We sure live in the most trying and unjust times in this country. As mentioned umpteen times previously, there's no law or justice here any longer.

Friday, September 25, 2009

The costs of 'dressing'!

Going to the Aga Khan Hospital's Casualty Dept., for a change of dressing for a wound or operation site can cost nothing less than 750/- and most times it's much more than that as I found out to my detriment this afternoon.

As soon as one reports at the reception, you're given a number for when the cashier will call it out. At this point, you're required to pay a standard charge of 750/- for which the receipt says 'dressing-casualty'.

After this, one is required to wait till your name is called out. That's what happened with me just a few hours ago. The only reason I needed to go for this was because of a surgery I'd gone through yesterday barely 24 hours ago and the tapes that had been put on the site had got wet and needed replacing.

When my name was called out I followed the male nurse(?), into the cubicle for this purpose. There on the side table was a closed brown paper bag which I was to discover held the accoutrements for cleaning wounds, operation sites, etc. The nurse opened this bag even before looking at what I required and what a waste it turned out to be, because the only thing required to be done in my case was to replace that wet tape. He realized this immediately that I showed him my operation site, but, since he'd opened the bag, he put a little saline fluid into a crucible, added some Betadine(?) and proceeded to dip some wool held with forceps into this liquid and wiped the area after removing the tape.Then, he disappeared for a few minutes and came back with the replacement tapes. He said that there was no need to do anything else as everything was fine (and no wonder since it is hardly 24 hours since my operation even as I write this), and nothing else needed to be done.

The whole thing was over in less than 5 minutes and I was ready to go, when, I was stopped by the nurse and told to pay further for the tapes that he had used. This was a complete surprise and nobody had warned me that I was going to be making further payments other than the one I'd already made in the name of 'dressing'. So, I ended up paying a further 300/- for this and the receipt reads 'opsite post operative'. What is the difference between that and 'dressing'?

And if they were going to charge me for this, why charge me 750/-, earlier? Or vice versa? I got very angry at this additional charge and told the girl there that I thought of this as a complete rip off. She in turn, hid behind the statement that this was standard procedure. Whatever that means? I've discovered that these two words 'standard procedures' are used to hide a multitude of unanswerable questions that people like me ask of officialdom. In fact, they will keep repeating this statement over and over again like stuck records!

Before, I started writing this email (and for whose email addresses I had to search the Internet), I decided to ring the casualty dept of the hospital and ask to speak to the person in charge. When I eventually managed to talk to her, she defended their practices and there was not a trace of remorse from her that I had ended paying over a 1000/- for a simple change of tapes. I also told her that I was writing this email and told me to go ahead which is what I'm doing.

So, everybody BEWARE, of these hidden costs of 'dressing' your wounds or 'opsite post operative'. Better make sure before you pay anything or you might get fleeced. In which case, you'd better have lots of money on you to pay for your oversight.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Nairobi's worsening water situation

I don't know what the problem is with the various ministries in charge of vital services like water. They never seem to deliver these 'services' predictably and consistently.

For example, the Nairobi Water Company a while ago publicized the timings and areas about how, when and where they are going to be supplying water. They never kept their word despite them having given this in the media. One would sympathize and even cooperate with their rationing IF, they would keep their word about days and timings, but, the residents get very frustrated and angry when they don't keep these.

The Parklands/Highridge area and it's immediate environs, haven't had water for over a week with no explanation forthcoming from these so-called 'service' providers. It would seem that they only get off their lazy and incompetent backsides when they receive my nasty emails and for a while water comes through, but, they, like Kenyans in general have extremely short memories and they soon forget to supply us with this vital fluid. This time they have really messed us up since the Muslims who live here are having their Eid holiday and after a whole month of fasting, we now have to do without water, still!

Why at this time? One wonders if this is not a planned thing in order to frustrate us.

And why is it that certain other areas like Westlands never misses water? Are their sources of water different from ours?

The people in charge of delivering these 'services' still seem to be living on another planet where they think that their incompetence is going to go unnoticed. They forget that we are living in the 21st Century where the mode of communication is much faster than their slow thinking brains and we can now know within seconds about what is going on where.

So, I would like to welcome them to the 21st Century and request them to get their act together pronto and supply us with water with immediate effect. Otherwise, they'd better not send us phantom bills for their phantom water. It would be like adding salt to a festering wound.

On second thoughts, are the water tankers who provide both 'fresh' and borehole water in cahoots with the various official water providers? That is, maybe, they (water company and 'friends') are getting a hefty cut from these water tanker owners....?