CS says there is a huge wa­ter fund­ing deficit as de­mand ex­ceeds sup­ply

The Star (Kenya) - - Politics -

The in­au­gu­ral Kenya Wa­ter Week started yes­ter­day amid fears that trans­bound­ary wa­ters are be­com­ing a source of con­flict as de­mand ex­ceeds sup­ply. Wa­ter CS Eu­gene Wa­malwa (pic­tured) said wa­ter poli­cies to fa­cil­i­tate ef­fec­tive man­age­ment of trans­bound­ary wa­ters has been fi­nalised and ap­proved. “There ex­ists Sh60 bil­lion an­nual fund­ing deficit. For ex­am­ple, for sec­tor sus­tain­abil­ity in wa­ter sup­ply, an in­vest­ment of about Sh1.8 bil­lion is re­quired as per the Na­tional Master Plan 2030 of Oc­to­ber 2013. Only Sh600 mil­lion is avail­able for in­vest­ment, leav­ing a gap of Sh1.172 bil­lion,” he said. Wa­malwa said, how­ever, the gov­ern­ment is reach­ing out for ex­ter­nal help to bridge the fund­ing deficit. “The sub­sec­tor has ini­ti­ated bi­lat­eral agree­ments through MoUs with neigh­bour­ing coun­tries to pro­mote co­op­er­a­tive frame­works for sus­tain­able man­age­ment and eq­ui­table util­i­sa­tion of shared wa­ter re­sources,” he said. The CS spoke when he opened the week-long event at the KICC. The event’s theme is ‘From Aid to Trade: En­hanc­ing Busi­ness Part­ner­ships and In­no­va­tion for sus­tain­able Wa­ter and San­i­ta­tion pro­vi­sion in Africa’. It has brought to­gether na­tional and in­ter­na­tional stake­hold­ers, de­vel­op­ment part­ners and prac­ti­tion­ers. Bel­gian Deputy Prime Min­is­ter Di­dier Reyn­ders said his gov­ern­ment will sup­port Kenya’s quest for wa­ter sus­tain­abil­ity by fund­ing var­i­ous wa­ter projects across the coun­try to the tune of Sh7.9 bil­lion.

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