HUGE FINANCIAL GAP

Kenya needs Sh100 billion annually for water — CS Macharia

Says the current Sh40 billion is not enough to increase coverage

In Summary
  • Macharia said Kenya targets 80 and 40 per cent water and sewerage access by 2022 and universal access by 2030.
  • The CS said water access should be met by 2032 for Kenyans to appreciate the true value of water.
Water adminirator Douglas Mutai addresses wananchi during this year’s World Water Day at Maliku Primary School in Kitui on Tuesday, March 22, 2022
HUGE FINANCIAL GAP: Water adminirator Douglas Mutai addresses wananchi during this year’s World Water Day at Maliku Primary School in Kitui on Tuesday, March 22, 2022
Image: MUSEMBI NZENGU

Meeting Kenya's water needs is a challenging task that requires huge funding, acting Water CS James Macharia says.

Macharia said the ministry continues to face major challenges in ensuring water security and expanding water and sanitation infrastructure to increase coverage.

His speech was read by administrative director Douglas Mutai during World Water Day celebrations at Maliku Primary School in Kitui Rural constituency on Tuesday.

Macharia said water and sanitation infrastructure development requires an annual budget of Sh100 billion to attain its targets against the available budget of Sh40 billion.

He said the huge financial gap greatly affects the ability to meet water provision and sanitary targets.

“This calls for comprehensive investment planning between the national and county governments to ensure value for money and avoidance of duplication,” the CS said.

Mutai, who opened the solar-powered Maliku-Kavisuni borehole, also presided over the event dubbed “Groundwater, making the invisible visible.”

The administrative director at the Ministry of Water Douglas Mutai samples water from the Maliku-Kavisuni water borehole project on Tuesday, March 22.
WATER ACCESS: The administrative director at the Ministry of Water Douglas Mutai samples water from the Maliku-Kavisuni water borehole project on Tuesday, March 22.
Image: MUSEMBI NZENGU

The event was hosted by the Tanathi Water Works Agency headed by CEO Fredrick Muamati and Kitui Deputy Governor Wathe Nzau.

Present were MP Bonny Mwalika and county commissioner Mbogai Rioba.

The CS said water access should be met by 2032 for Kenyans to appreciate the true value of water.

He said water has an enormous and complex value for households, food security, culture, health, education, industrial development and the integrity of the natural environment.

Macharia said Kenya targets 80 and 40 per cent water and sewerage access by 2022 and universal access by 2030.

He said projects meant to bring water to the people must be implemented and completed on time.

“The Ministry appreciates the need to fast track projects to completion without giving contract extensions where there is no compelling reasons to do so,” he said.

The CS said he has launched a 100-day  Rapid Result Initiative programme, whose implementation will give a clear road map on completion of projects that are due for commissioning by June 2022.

The administrative director at the Ministry of Water Douglas Mutai unveils the plague to officially commission the Maliku- Kavisuni borehole on Tuesday, March 22.
RAPID RESULT INITIATIVE: The administrative director at the Ministry of Water Douglas Mutai unveils the plague to officially commission the Maliku- Kavisuni borehole on Tuesday, March 22.
Image: MUSEMBI NZENGU

MP Mwalika said 85 per cent of Kitui residents did not access clean and safe water.  This, he says, led to many suffering water related illnesses.

“The situation is so bad that I was recently affected by amoeba from dirty water. If it can happen to me, then the fate on the layman is worse,” Mwalika said.

The legislator said there is need for serious intervention by the nation and county government to provide clean water.

Muamati said Tanathi Water Works Agency has done a lot to provide water for the residents through sinking of boreholes.

He said boreholes were the most reliable source of water in the largely semi-arid Kitui county.  

(Edited by Bilha Makokha)

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