Kenya to invest in dams to improve water access


Kenya plans to invest in dams in order to increase the percentage of the population with access to clean water, a senior government official said Thursday. water
Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Water and Natural Resources Judy Wakhungu told journalists in Nairobi that currently only 56 percent of the population has access to water, though slightly up from 51 percent two years ago.
“The government has therefore set aside 21 million U.S. dollars in the next financial year for the construction of new dams to act as storage for water run off from rainfall,” Wakhungu said during the 11th Athi Water Services Board Stakeholders Forum.
Kenya’s water storage capacity is limited. Government data indicated that the East African nation has a per capita water storage capacity of 103 cubic meters, against nations such as South Africa, whose per capita water storage capacity stands at 600 cubic meters.
Kenya is working with a number of development partners such as the French Development Agency (AFD), the German Development Bank (KFW), the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the World Bank in order to improve access to clean water and sanitation in rural and urban areas.
AfDB Water and Sanitation Engineer John Sifuma said that his financial institution is currently funding the improvement of Nairobi’s sewerage system.
“We hope to increase the percentage of the population in the city with access to proper sanitation from the current 40 percent to 56 percent,” he said.
The ministry’s Director of Water Services Lawrence Simitu said Nairobi has a daily supply of 550,000 cubic meters against a demand of 620,000 cubic meters. Simitu said that Nairobi’s Northern Collector Tunnel project, which is expected to be completed within next three years, will bring an additional 140, 000 cubic meters of water to the capital. Enditem


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