- LREB brings together 14 counties in the lake region.
- He said that they will help the urban water companies in designing and implementing road-maps for improved operational efficiency and commercial viability.
Eight counties from the Lake Region Economic Bloc will benefit from a $24 million water project funded by USAID to enhance supply to consumers.
The project seeks to provide basic drinking water services to 500,000 Kenyans, improve service quality to 350,000 residents and water resource management for people in the region.
The five-year USAID-funded Western Kenya Water Project ( WKWP) will benefit residents of Kakamega, Bungoma, Busia, Homa Bay, Kisii, Kisumu, Migori and Siaya counties in the bloc.
LREB brings together 14 counties in the lake region. Others are Vihiga, Trans-Nzoia, Nandi, Kericho, Bomet and Nyamira.
USAID deputy head of the project Calvince Kodera said the programme will focus mainly on the support of water services by the urban and rural water companies in the eight counties.
He said that the project targets to help the counties increase sustainable quality water services while enabling better management of water resources.
"USAID will help mobilise the funds in the new public and private partnership programme to fund the ambitious project," Kodera said.
He was speaking when he led the USAID delegation in a courtesy call on Kakamega Governor Fernandes Barasa in his office on Tuesday.
Kodera said that under the programme, counties will be helped in capacity building through the training of staff.
He said that they will help the urban water companies in designing and implementing road-maps for improved operational efficiency and commercial viability.
"This will help the companies better customer service and increase revenue collection to fund the financial needs for infrastructure development and expand coverage,”he said.
"The project will also help in stability of the rural water companies and help them in identification and development of service delivery models appropriate to the rural context of each county."
He added that the counties will be helped to develop policies that will ensure effective governance and operations of water companies.
Barasa said the project has come at the right time saying it will be key to supplementing the county's efforts to increase water supply to residents and deal with shortages of the commodity witnessed in urban areas
"Water provision is among the six key development agendas for the residents in my manifesto and the project will help me achieve these goals," Barasa said.
He noted that he will ensure that resources put into the project by donors are utilised prudently to benefit wananchi.
The governor noted that despite the previous regime investing millions of shillings in water services, the majority of the county population has no access to clean and piped water adding that he will prioritise increased the supply of the commodity with the help of donors.
(Edited by Tabnacha O)