USAID finances new safe water programmes in Kenya
The Kenyan government, US Embassy, and representatives of international donors and private corporations have launched two drinking water projects worth US$86.5 million in a bid to ensure local water sources are safe for consumption for 1.5 million Kenyans. “These projects will invest more than US$85 million from the United States government, international donors and the private sector, reinforcing our commitment to partner with the Kenyan national and county governments to improve the health and wellbeing of their people,” said Robert Godec, US Ambassador to the Republic of Kenya. More than 16 million Kenyans still lack access to safe water and 33 million don’t have access to adequate sanitation, and the first initiative will enable the Kenya Integrated Water Sanitation and Hygiene project to make use of US$51 million in USAID funding in order to improve access to nutritional information; water, sanitation, and hygiene in Busia, Kakamega, Kisumu, Kitui, Makueni, Migori, Nairobi, Nyamira, and Siaya. Kakamega is considered to be the poorest of all of Kenya’s 47 counties according to a report published by the Ministry of Devolution and Planning, with Kitui, Makueni, and Nairobi also featuring. Turkana, another county mentioned in the report, Garissa, Isiolo, Marsabit, and Wajir are among the other counties that will receive support through the US$35.5 million Kenya Resilient Arid Lands Partnership for Integrated Development. The partnership is funded through a joint investment of US$12.5 million from USAID, US$7.5 million from the Swiss Development Corporation, US$12.5 million from private-sector partners including the Coca Cola Africa Foundation, and a further US$3 million from a non-profit coalition of US charities called the Millennium Water Authority. In addition to providing greater access to safe water, the projects also aim to ensure that communities living in arid and semi-arid lands become more resilient to drought.
By Adam Pitt
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Photo: USAID