Half a million Kenyans to benefit from Lake Victoria water scheme

Half a million Kenyans to benefit from Lake Victoria water scheme

An estimated 500,000 people living in Kenya’s third largest city, Kisumu, will benefit from an EUR 70 million of water and sanitation investment programme to be implemented over the next 5 years and financed by the European Investment Bank, the European Union and French Development Agency (AFD).

The new scheme will both upgrade existing water supply, and significantly expand water and wastewater connections for thousands of people currently lacking access to safe drinking water supply and unserved by a public sewerage network. At present only 16% of people living Kisumu have access to the existing public sewerage system.

Financial support was confirmed by European partners and the Government of Kenya on the 1st of March in Nairobi at a ceremony attended by Henry Rotich, Cabinet Secretary for the National Treasury and Planning and Simon Chelugui, Cabinet Secretary for Water and Sanitation, the Ambassador of France, government officials and representatives of the European Investment Bank, French Development Agency and the European Union.

European Investment Bank, French Development Agency and EU confirm support

The transformational scheme to upgrade water and sanitation in Kisumu and neighbouring communities in the Lake Victoria catchment area will be financed by the European Investment Bank, French Development Agency and Government of Kenya, as well as by EUR 5m of grant funding from the European Union – Africa Infrastructure Trust Fund.

The European Investment Bank, the world’s largest international public bank and largest lender for water investment worldwide, will provide EUR 35 million for the Kisumu scheme. The EIB’s support for the project was outlined by Catherine Collin, head of the European Investment Bank’s regional representation in East Africa.

“New investment to transform supply of clean water and wastewater collection in Kisumu will transform key infrastructure in Kenya’s third city and cater for expected increased demand for water in the years ahead. The European Investment Bank together with our Kenyan and European partners recognise the crucial contribution of this impressive project to improving access to clean water and sanitation by vulnerable communities and ensuring that Kenya can achieve sustainable development goals. Once complete the improved water network will reduce pollution in Lake Victoria and benefit Kenyans, Ugandans and Tanzanians living around Africa’s second largest lake.” said Catherine Collin, European Investment Bank regional representative in East Africa.

The French Development Agency will provide EUR 20 million for the initiative. Jean-Pierre Marcelli responsible for the French Development Agency in sub-Saharan Africa and H.E. Antoine Sivan, Ambassador of France to Kenya were also present at the announcement.

Lake Victoria communities to get first-ever clean water supply and public sewerage

Kisumu is dependent on Lake Victoria for water supply and the new investment programme will cater for the expected increase in water demand and population increase from 500,000 to today to 800,000 at the end of the next decade.

The scheme will increase access to safe water supply to an estimated 95% of people living in the greater Kisumu area, from 67% at present and expand wastewater services to the western part of Kisumu currently lacking a public sewerage network.

Investing for future water needs and drought

Kenya is classified as water stressed and in recent years has faced a number of severe droughts. The improved water infrastructure covered by the new Kisumu scheme been designed to cater for a changing climate.

Significant public health, pollution and economic benefits expected

Once complete the improved supply of clean water and wastewater collection is expected to reduce the incidence of waterborne disease and associated healthcare costs, as well as significantly reduce time currently taken to collect water. Through catering for future water needs the new investment will support economic growth in Kisumu and western Kenya.

Kisumu key part of coordinated Lake Victoria water and sanitation initiative

The new Kisumu scheme follows complementary water and wastewater investment programmes around Lake Victoria in Uganda and Tanzania supported by the European Investment Bank and European development finance partners.

Since 2011 the European Investment Bank, French Development Agency and Germany’s KfW have supported long-term water investment in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania, with additional technical assistance financed by the European Union- Africa Infrastructure Trust Fund.

“At a time when the drought is, once again, affecting the lives of millions of Kenyans, the European Union is supporting a project that can dramatically improve access to clean water for the population of the Kisumu area. The EU shows by doing this how focused we are on the priorities that can really make a difference to Kenyans” said Ambassador, Stefano Dejak, Head of the European Union Delegation to Kenya.

Improving new water investment through shared technical experience

Experience gained from involvement in water projects across Africa and worldwide strengthen the EIB’s ongoing technical support for the scheme and similar water catchment area schemes currently planned elsewhere are following the Lake Victoria initiative closely.

The European Investment Bank has provided more than EUR 1.7 billion for transformational water and wastewater investment across Africa over the last decade. This has included improving water infrastructure in Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Egypt, Ethiopia, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Morocco, Niger, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.

Last week the European Investment Bank confirmed EUR 45 million support for Rwanda’s first public sewerage network in the capital city Kigali that will also significantly reduce pollution in Lake Victoria.

Building on EIB engagement in Africa

Last year the European Investment Bank provided EUR 2.6 billion for new investment across Africa. Projects supported include improving agriculture, energy, telecom, transport and water infrastructure, as well as strengthening microfinance lending and private sector investment across the continent.

Original source: EIB
Published on 1 March 2018