Water utilities in Kenya urged to reduce operational costs

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Water service providers in Kenya urged to reduce operational costs

Water companies in Kenya under the county governments have been urged to reduce operational costs and allocate more funds towards direct investment in counties.

Water Sector Trust Funds (WSTF) Trustee – Eng. Mathew Tuitoek who made the call during a ground breaking ceremony of a water project and public sanitation facility in Baringo County said cutting on operational costs would lead to increase in development projects, contributing to increased water and sanitation access across the country.

He said the move to cut on costs by Water utilities in Kenya would enable the Ministry of Water and Sanitation achieve its target of 100 percent access to water by all Kenyans by the year 2030.

Eng. Tuitoek expressed the need to have all the water projects financed by the trust funds to be technically, environmentally and financially sustainable.

According to Eng. Tuitoek WSTF has partnered with European Union in a programme dubbed Ending Drought Emergencies (EDE) and climate proved infrastructure to facilitate improved water supply and sanitation in Arid and Semi-Arid areas in Kenya.

“Baringo county government is a beneficiary of the programme to a tune of US $ 0.76 million,” added Eng. Tuitoek.

He lauded the development partners for their support and constant engagement in the activities of WSTF.

Eng. Tuitoek who is the chair of Investments and Monitoring committee at WSTF praised Baringo for its efforts after becoming second of the eight ASAL counties targeted to launch its project which was successfully financed by the fund.

He said slow uptake of the funds by the Water utilities in Kenya was the main challenge that derailed water development projects and called for mutual support by all stakeholders in the counties.

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“Once we push for the funding, the respective county governments ought to ensure that the contractors beat timelines so as to motivate us to increase funding to enable the targeted counties move on with more water projects,” he reiterated.

The county’s governor Stanley Kiptis lauded WSTF for its support to the county which was struggling to improve and increase water access to clean water by 45 percent by 2023. Baringo County has perennially experienced drought and water shortage.

According to Kiptis, the water project was destroyed by the El nino rains in 1997 and 1998 and may cost up to about US $3.6 million to restore as per the engineer’s estimations.

“As an administration, we are working hard to improve water access. Since devolution we have dug 170 boreholes, 178 water pans and 354 new distribution lines that has brought our access to 40 per cent in the county,” explained the governor.

He said the new project would cover six locations in three wards and would boost a new rig bought by the County Government.

North Rift Economic Block (NOREB) Chief Executive Officer Dr. Dominic Biwott underscored the need for fiscal responsibility in their donor funded projects warning that failure in this area would deny them donor funds in subsequent issues.

While donating funds for two water projects, Dr. Biwott called for funds accountability and urged that the invested funds should to be utilized in the intended projects.

He donated about US $165,000 to Kirandich Water Works Company and Chemususu Water Company to be used in operation and maintenance for the two entities.

Water Sector Trust Fund, also known as Water Fund, is a Kenyan State Corporation mandated under the Water act 2016 to finance water supply, sanitation and water resource management for the underserved and marginalized communities in the rural and urban areas in all the 47 counties.