Universal water access in Kenya needs $15bln USD funding

A senior Kenyan official said Tuesday the government requires 15 billion U.S. dollars over the next 15 years or one billion dollars annually in order to achieve universal water access.

Portable drinking water

Cabinet Secretary for Water and Irrigation Eugene Wamalwa told a regional conference in Nairobi that the current budget allocation stands at about 400 million dollars.

Portable drinking water

“In order to bridge the gap, the government has decided to explore other financing options where the private sector will play a key role in the sector development,” Wamalwa said during the third Water, Electricity and Power Expo.

The three-day event will feature over 40 exhibitors from five countries who will showcase the latest technologies in the utilities industry.

Wamalwa said some of the financing options include commercial financing and Public Private Partnerships (PPP).
“In future, we plan to have some of the viable water service providers float bonds in the Nairobi Securities Exchange to raise funds for utility capital development,” he said.

Kenya’s current water coverage stands at 56 percent of the population while the sewerage coverage is approximately 22 percent.

Wamalwa said the country hopes to improve the efficiency of utility management by reducing non-revenue water, which currently stands at 40 percent to about 25 percent.

The water ministry has also reviewed the National Water Masterplan with a view to assessing the water requirements for the country’s development agenda while taking into consideration the impact on water resources as brought about by climate change.

He added that water is required to sustain human life and ecosystem, and is also used for transport, sports, tourism, cultural and religious activities.

The CS said water scarcity has been a main source of poverty, slow economic growth and sometimes a source of conflict among communities.

“There is therefore an urgent need for national dialogue on the management of water resources,” he said. Enditem

Source: Xinhua

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