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NBK secures Sh1.2bn facility to enhance financing to water utility firms

NAIROBI, Kenya August 5- The National Bank of Kenya (NBK) has secured Sh1.2billion from impact investor, WaterEquity, to enhance financing to public and private water utility companies and micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises.

The funds, which have boosted the Sh5billion NBK Majikonnect programme, will provide much-needed financing to water sector actors towards facilitating access to clean and safe water across the country.

Acting NBK Managing Director Peter Kioko reaffirmed the bank’s commitment to supporting last mile connectivity in the water sector through increased access to financing:

 “NBK’s collaboration with WaterEquity will positively and significantly impact access to water, sanitation, and hygiene services and products across the country. Our partnership accentuates our focus on attaining Sustainable Development Goal 6 (SDG6) – improving access to clean and safe drinking water for all,” he said.

WaterEquity Chief Investment Officer John Moyer noted that lack of financing prevents millions of people worldwide from securing access to safe water and sanitation infrastructure.

“At WaterEquity, we believe that capital markets offer the best solution to increase access to water and sanitation at a large scale. And we’re very pleased to continue our support for expanded access in Kenya through our investment in NBK,” he explained.

As referenced from the Water Services Regulatory Board (WASREB) impact report 14-2020/2021, water coverage in regulated areas in Kenya stands at 60%, whilst sewerage coverage stands at 16%.

According to the UN World Water Development Report 2021, it is estimated that achieving universal access to safe drinking water, sanitation, and hygiene SDG Targets in 140 low- and middle-income countries would cost approximately USD1.7 trillion from 2016 to 2030, or USD114 billion per year.

The benefit-cost ratio (BCR) of such investments has been shown to provide a significant positive economic return in most regions.

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Economic returns on hygiene are even higher, as they can greatly improve health outcomes in many cases with little need for additional expensive infrastructure.

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