Four coastal counties have today signed Sh10.7 billion agreements that seek to improve water supply and sanitation in the region.
Kwale, Taita Taveta, Mombasa and Kilifi will benefit from the World Bank-funded project, referred to as the Counties Participation Agreements, that will be done through investment in water supply and sanitation infrastructure.
“The initiative will also strengthen institutional capacity of water companies in the counties,” noted Deputy President William Ruto at his residence in Karen on Monday.
Present during the signing of the pact were Governors Granton Samboja (Taita Taveta), Salim Mvurya (Kwale), Amason Kingi (Kilifi), Water CS Simon Chelugui, and several county executive committee members.
“Taita Taveta and Kwale will receive Sh2.5 billion each, Mombasa Sh3 billion while Kilifi will get Sh2.7 billion,” explained the Deputy President.
He said the devolved units will implement county-specific activities, mainly on sanitation, while water companies will 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,” he added.
Mr Chelugui said the three-year project will be implemented based on respective counties’ priorities.
The CS said counties will be supported by the national government and the World Bank in the implementation and monitoring of the projects to ensure value for money.
“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 and Chelugui.
Taita Taveta Governor observed that the signing of the agreements would “take us to another level as far as water and sewerage issues are concerned”.
“We will ensure that the funds are directed to the intended purposes and check on possible misuse or wastage,” added Mr Samboja.
While supporting Mr Samboja’s sentiments that every shilling would be accounted for, Mr Kingi said the success of the County Participation Agreements would determine the future 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 masterplan. But challenge has been how to fund the projects therein. This programme will, therefore, fill that resources gap, and ensure our people have access to this important commodity. We will implement it fully,” he said.
So as to ensure its success, Mr Mvurya said the programme would be transparent, 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.