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Kenya has secured a Sh1.07 billion ($11.8 million) grant from Sweden to boost water access and sanitation for 30,000 low-income households in urban areas.
The programme will see providers of water services access cheap loans from banks, at a subsidised rate of up to 60 per cent, towards setting up infrastructure in low-income areas.
It is part of the Global Partnership on Output-Based Aid (Gpoba) administered by the World Bank whose pilot phase in the country has benefited 190,000 households.
“This is a significant step towards bringing more water and sanitation services to the poor and demonstrates the government’s confidence in the output-based approach, using resources from the public and private sectors,” said World Bank Country Director for Kenya Diariétou Gaye on Friday. But she did not specify the areas involved.
Service providers will not receive the subsidy until water and sanitation services reach the target group.
The government-backed Water Services Trust Fund (WSTF) will manage the programme which is funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida).
Gpoba finances development projects. “This project will help water service providers to access commercial credit to expand water and sanitation services to poor urban areas, reducing the connection fee and increasing access for poor urban households,” said Gpoba manager Carmen Nonay.
Ismail Fahmy Shaiye, CEO of WSTF welcomed the initiative saying it will help improve living conditions of poor families, especially the slum dwellers.
“We look forward to working with the World Bank and the Government of Sweden as development partners in this innovative financing scheme to bridge the public funding gap,” said Mr Shaiye.
– Business Daily