Four coastal counties have inked Sh10.7 billion deal project that will improve water provision and sanitation in the region.
The Counties Participation Agreements will see Kwale, Taita Taveta, Mombasa and Kilifi benefit from the World Bank-funded project, that will be implemented through investment in water supply and sanitation infrastructure.
Governors Granton Samboja (Taita Taveta), Salim Mvurya (Kwale), Amason Kingi (Kilifi) attended the ceremony, that was also graced by Water Cabinet Secretary Simon Chelugui and other various County Executive Committee members.
Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho was not present but he represented by his County executive committee member of Finance.
The signing of the agreement was done at the Deputy President resident home at Karen.
Taita Taveta and Kwale are set to receive Sh2.5 billion each, Mombasa Sh3 billion while Kilifi will get Sh2.7 billion.
“The initiative will also strengthen institutional capacity of water companies in the counties,” said the Deputy President William Ruto.
He also explained that 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 wastewater collection and treatment services,” he added.
Water and Sanitation CS Simon Chelugui said the three-year project will be implemented based on respective counties’ priorities.
The CS underscored that 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,” Said Chelugui.
The World Bank Representative Pascaline Ndung’u assured the stakeholders that they would continue with their partnership projects with Kenya until the implementation of water and sanitation services succeeds. “The Coast is special because there is a lot of sharing of water resources in the region,” she said.
Taita Taveta Governor Granton Samboja applauded the partnership where he said that such agreements would take counties 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 Samboja.
Kilifi governor Jeffah Kingi echoed the Sambojas sentiment that every shilling would be accounted to see the success of the project. According to governor Kingi, appropriate utilization of the funds would determine the future flow of more funds from development partners.
He said the Coast counties had for a long time been grappling with the provision of safe and clean water for consumption.
“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.
The Kwale governor Mr. Salim Mvurya said the programme would be transparent and would also be guided by public participation to ensure they prioritize every water project.