Hope for coast residents as Sh10.7b water project plan starts

Four Coast counties have signed a Sh10.7 billion deal with the World Bank for water projects.

Kwale, Taita Taveta, Kilifi and Mombasa signed the agreements for the projects to improve water supply and sanitation.

The World Bank-funded project, referred to as the Counties Participation Agreements, will be done through investment in water supply and sanitation infrastructure.

“The implementation of the initiative will strengthen institutional capacity of county governments and water companies in the counties,” said Deputy President William Ruto at his residence in Nairobi’s Karen on Monday.

Governors Granton Samboja (Taita Taveta), Salim Mvurya (Kwale), Amason Kingi (Kilifi) were present at the ceremony, which was also attended by Water Cabinet Secretary Simon Chelugui.

Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho was represented by his County executive committee member in-charge of Finance.

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“Taita Taveta and Kwale will each receive Sh2.5 billion. Kilifi will get Sh2.7 billion while Mombasa will get Sh3 billion,” said the DP.

Ruto pointed out that the devolved units would implement county-specific activities, mainly on sanitation, while water companies would implement the large infrastructure.

“Residents of the coastal counties will benefit from much more regular supply of water and from improved waste water collection and treatment services. It is my hope that the projects will be implemented in a transparent manner,” he added.

Mr Chelugui said the three-year project would be implemented based on respective counties’ priorities.

He said counties would be supported by the national government and the World Bank in the implementation and monitoring of the projects.

“Besides development partners’ support, I urge counties to enhance their budgetary allocation to the water and sanitation sector so as to ensure that by 2030, water would be universally accessible,” explained Chelugui.

Mr Samboja said the signing of the agreements would “take us to another level as far as water and sewerage issues are concerned”.

Mr Kingi said the success of the County Participation Agreements would determine the flow of more funds from development partners.

He said the Coastal region had for a long time been grappling with the provision of safe and clean water.

“We have a water and sanitation master-plan, but challenge has been how to fund the projects therein. This programme will, therefore, fill that resources gap,” he said.

To ensure the success of the project, Mr Mvurya said the programme would be driven by public engagement.

World Bank representative Pascaline Ndung’u said they would intensify their partnership with Kenya in the implementation of water and sanitation services in counties. “The Coast is special because there is a lot of sharing of water resources in the region,” she said.

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