NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 10 – The German Government on Wednesday said it will spend Sh28 billion in the next two years, in development cooperation with Kenya in the water sector.
Berlin’s ambassador to Nairobi Jutta Frasch said that negotiations between two countries were concluded last month and the money would be expended in 2017 and 2018.
Speaking at the opening of first ever Kenya-German Water Week at the Kenya Water Institute, Frasch stated that water was one of the sectors that would greatly benefit from the funding.
Water Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa who officially opened the conference called for accelerated involvement of the private sector in water provision so as to address water scarcity in the country.
“We support the public-private partnerships and new technologies in solving water problems,” said the Water CS. “I welcome our German experts to share with us their experiences.”
The 2014-2015 review on Kenya’s water services sector released last week indicated that water coverage in the country has scantily improved from 53pc recorded in 2013 to 55pc stating that the sector must grow by five times annually to reach the 2030 targeted by the universal access.
The assessment showed that the trend in coverage has been growing though slowly.
“Kenya is a water-scarce country. Sixty five percent in urban areas are covered and only 49 percent in rural areas. Sanitation stands at 20 percent. Continued urbanization leads to more demand. Our economic growth is also raising the demand for industrial water,” said CS Wamalwa.
Currently the country facing the challenge of urbanization which demands huge expansion of the water and sanitation infrastructure.
The 2014-2015 review shows that the attainment of national targets for water continues to be a challenge and innovative approaches are required to improve access levels recommending that huge capital expenditure and prudent investment will be required to meet both national and global targets.
Wamalwa said that the German-Kenyan cooperation will focus on latest technological advances to help more people access clean water.
German water experts are in the country to train their Kenyan counterparts on latest technology and trends in water and waste water management at a five day workshop in Nairobi, with participants drawn from stakeholders in the industry.
The high level training aims to boost knowledge transfer, the exchange of experiences and discuss strategies in matters relating to sustainable water management solutions.
“We are excited to see this first Kenyan-German Water Week come into realization. Our partnership deliberately seeks to impart skills that will enable the uptake of best practices in water management,” said the Country Director of the Delegation of German Industry and Commerce in Kenya, Maren Diale-Schellschmidt, the workshop convenors.
The focus areas of the workshops are: drilling technologies and construction practices; wastewater treatment and reuse; wastewater and sewage solutions; water purification and de-centralized solutions; urban and agro-industrial wastewater treatment; and how to start a business in the water sector.