Event organisers note that building a digitally savvy workforce for Kenya will capitalize on emerging opportunities in water & sanitation sectors and create more jobs for the youth in both public and private sectors.
There is also a growing need to build the capacity of local governments and utilities to apply new technologies to enhance data collection for decision-making, monitor the quality and quantity of water resources, improve forecasting, and support overall monitoring and evaluation efforts.
“It is against this background that the Water Services Providers Association (WASPA) and her partners the Ministry of Water, Sanitation & Irrigation, Council of Governors and the County of Mombasa proposes to host the Kenya Water & Sanitation International Conference & Exhibition, June 19-23, 2023,” said Antony Ambugo Chief Executive Officer WASPA.
“The intention is to bring together all stakeholders in the water and sanitation space to brainstorm on governance challenges. We will explore ways of infusing technology in systems, processes and structure in which we can control and direct organisations to accelerate water and sanitation access,” he said adding that the conference will also look at innovative financing through the private public partnerships (PPP).
The meeting is convening under the theme of harnessing technology and innovation to accelerate access to safely managed water and sanitation.
It comes against challenges such as Covid-19 pandemic and the climate change which has globally slowed down access to safely managed water and sanitation.
According to statistics within Kenya, water coverage is at 60 per cent and sanitation at 29 per cent making the country lag behind in achieving the sustainable development goal number 6 (SDG 6).
Sustainable Development Goal 6 is about clean water and sanitation for all as established by United Nations General Assembly in 2015.
Its outcome targets safe and affordable drinking water, end to open defecation and provision of access to sanitation and hygiene, improve water quality, waste water treatment and safe reuse among others.
Objectives of the meeting also include the creation of a platform to share experiences, identify barriers and good practices enabling information sharing and good governance in the water and sanitation sector, providing networking opportunities for innovative investments and public private partnerships in technology to accelerate access to water and sanitation for all including restoration of water-related ecosystems.
Others are fostering partnerships among training institutions, water utilities, industries and government entities to develop human digital capital in the water and sanitation sector.
Also harnessing technological innovation in the provision of safely-managed water and sanitation services, mitigate and adapt to climate change and holistically addressing the water energy-food nexus.
Other speakers will include Danny Lacker, Senior Division Manager of Water Security Emergency and Cyber Security, Water Authority, State of Israel, top government officials led by Cabinet Secretary for Water, Sanitation and Irrigation Alice Wahome, Principal Secretaries Paul Ronoh and Festus Ngeno from state department of water and sanitation and the state department for environment and climate change respectively.
Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru who doubles up as chair Council of Governors and her Mombasa counterpart Abdulswamad Sharrif Nassir will also attend the conference.