In Nairobi: Keziah Muthoni Muthembwa (+254-20) 322 6484
In Washington: Janique Racine (+1-202) 458 2048
NAIROBI, December 20, 2007—The World Bank’s Board of Directors today approved a credit* of US$150 million for Kenya to expand access to safe water and sanitation services in the areas served by the Athi Water Services Board, Coast Water Services Board and Lake Victoria North Water Services Board.
The Water and Sanitation Service Improvement Project (WaSSIP) will increase access to reliable, affordable and sustainable water supply and sanitation services; and improve the water and wastewater services in the areas served by the three Water Services Boards. At present, about 60 percent of Kenyans have access to safe drinking water while access to basic sanitation is at 80 percent. The project is expected to benefit about 9.3 million Kenyans in 27 districts with improved water and sanitation services, including residents of some of Kenya’s largest urban informal settlements.
“Reforms in water sector have set the pace for reforms in the rest of the Kenyan economy. They began in 2002 with the passage of a new Water Act. They continued under another Government, with a clear focus on service delivery and a strengthening of governance”, says Colin Bruce, the World Bank Country Director. “We are pleased to join with other development partners to support the continuation of these reforms over the next five years as part of the multi-donor Kenya Joint Assistance Strategy.”
Water sector reforms since 2002 have included (i) the clarification of roles and accountabilities of sector institutions; (ii) the inclusion of multiple stakeholders in decision making processes of service delivery institutions; (iii) the financial ring-fencing of the operations of service delivery institutions; (iv) financial and technical audits of sector institutions’ operations and performances; and (v) strengthened financial management and procurement capacity. The Bank supported these actions through the $15 million Nairobi Water and Sewerage Institutional Restructuring Project which is on schedule for successful completion by December 31, 2007.
The WaSSIP represents the second phase of the World Bank’s support to the Government of Kenya’s water sector reform. The project will consolidate, enhance and scale up these measures, improve the dissemination of information as well as strengthen the risk management and internal controls of water services institutions.
Activities envisaged under the WaSSIP include: the rehabilitation of water production, transmission, storage and distribution facilities and wastewater collection, treatment and disposal facilities; the expansion of water supply and sewerage services; and the strengthening of the institutional structures for water and sanitation service provision, emphasizing increasing institutional accountability and transparency of Water Services Boards and Water Services Providers. The project will also assist in making the Water Services Regulatory Board and the Water Appeal Board fully operational.
As part of the Kenya Joint Assistance Strategy (KJAS), and in line with the partnership principles agreed between the Government and development partners, the German Development Cooperation—represented by KfW Development Bank, the German Technical Cooperation (GTZ), the German Development Services (DED)—and the French Development Agency (AFD) are also providing assistance to the water and sanitation sector in Kenya. These principles seek to streamline donor engagement with the Government, avoid duplication of efforts and promote a shared focus on practical results for Kenyans.
The German Water Sector Development Program (WSDP) in its third phase is being implemented under the Lake Victoria North Water Services Board at a cost of €58.7 million. The program is benefiting about one million Kenyans in six towns and twenty rural growth centers. “In joining forces for this important investment program, our aid delivery is more harmonized, coordinated and aligned, increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of our support and ensuring the reforms’ success and sustainability,” says Joerg Dux, Director of KfW, Nairobi.
The French Development Agency (AFD) is currently implementing the Nairobi Water and Sewerage Emergency Physical Investment Project at a cost of €30 million, and is appraising the Coast Region Water and Sanitation Services Improvement Project. The latter is estimated to cost about €30 million and will be presented to the board during the first quarter of 2008. According to Jean Pierre Marcelli, Regional Director, AFD, Nairobi, “these two projects will complement the Water and Sanitation Service Improvement Project (WaSSIP) and will enhance the harmonization of approaches to the water sector reforms and sharing of lessons learnt.”
*This credit is provided on standard terms of the International Development Association (IDA)—the World Bank’s concessionary lending arm. There is a 40-year period of maturity including a 10-year grace period.