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ONLY 57 PER CENT

Water coverage progress too slow — Board

At least Sh100bn required annually for years, against current Sh29 billion, to achieve 80% water coverage

In Summary

• Vision 2030 says sanitation coverage needs to be  80 per cent in urban areas, it's only 16 per cent. 'We're at the middle in water coverage and sanitation is even worse,' CS says.

• Water coverage is  57 per cent,  only a two per cent increase from 2016-17. 

Water CS Simon Chelugi during vetting on February 9, 2018.
Water CS Simon Chelugi during vetting on February 9, 2018.
Image: Jack Owuor.

Achieving universal water coverage and sanitation remains a mirage unless urgent steps are taken.

A new study shows that water coverage is only 57 per cent, just two per cent more than in 2016-17, the report by the Water Service Regulatory Board (Wasreb) shows.

It recommends annual growth of at least four per cent to realiseVision 2030 targets.

Sewerage coverage is only 16 per cent in urban areas, the same as the previous year.

Under Vision 2030, sanitation coverage in urban areas needs to at least 80 per cent. It would also be achieved by installing improved on-site treatment facilities for populations not covered by sewerage systems.

Meantime, authorities are making concerted efforts to clean up the massively polluted Nairobi River.

Nema director general Geoffrey Wahungu has said the river may never be clean again if sewage is not managed, especially in slums. It is dumped in the river

The Nairobi River remains heavily polluted because 84 per cent of those within range use open defaecation.
Water CS Simon Chelugui

A National Water Service Strategy paper in 2015 targeted water coverage of 80 per cent.

To realise the targets under Vision 2030, the sector needed to grow by at least three per cent for more than 10 years.

This means that a sustained investment of a minimum of Sh100 billion is required annually, against the current Sh29 billion, the previous report warned.

The goal is to increase sanitation in urban areas to 100 per cent. The National Water Masterplan projected a finance requirement of Sh500 billion.

This is against identified sources of Sh31 billion by 2030. 

Challenges

Water CS Simon Chelugui said the water sector faces serious problems.

"We are at the middle in water coverage and sanitation is even worse," Chelugui said.

Chelugui said an increase in water coverage was progressive. Hours of supply declined by 13 per cent.

"Nairobi River remains heavily polluted because 84 per cent of those within range use open defecation, " the CS said.

He said when impact reports are done, it shows that sanitation and water coverage need to be dealt with collectively and holistically.

He urged Wasreb to bring more service providers under the regulation.

The report showed that the number of customers connected to supply increased by 80,472 people.

The number of those connected to sewers, however, increased by five per cent.

The number of sewers connections also increased from 19,452 to 43,658 in the