A Stakeholders Workshop held in Kisii Town last month endorsed a roadmap to design and implement a major water and sanitation development programme for the town, which will build on investments already completed under the Lake Victoria Water and Sanitation Initiative.
UN-HABITAT will provide pre-investment capacity building under the Initiative and the Global Water Operators Partnership Alliance to design the Progamme and strengthen the institutional capacity of the local service provider to enable the Government of Kenya to access funding from interested development partners, including the German Development Bank (KFW) and the private sector.
Kisii is an important urban and commercial center in south -western Kenya and its development has long been constrained by a lack of effective urban planning and poor infrastructure. UN-HABITAT, through the Initiative has assisted in providing a strategic urban plan for the town and in expanding access to water, sanitation and solid waste management services.
These interventions have been complemented by training and capacity building for the Gusii Water Company as well as a number of pre-investment studies to lay the groundwork for a long term water and sanitation development programme. The work carried out under LVWATSAN has attracted the interest of potential development partners, including KFW and USAID.
The Stakeholders Workshop was attended by over 50 participants drawn from the Government of Kenya, the local authorities, the Gusii Water Company, UN-HABITAT and its Consultants, the Multi-Stakeholder Forum, representing the community-based organizations and the media.
In his remarks to officially open the workshop, the Representative of the Regional Commissioner Mrs. Lydia Muriuki noted that while service delivery in the town had improved with support provided under the Initiative, there is now a need to develop a consensus among the stakeholders on the main elements of a long term water and sanitation strategy for the town, including an agreed action plan and time frame.
The workshop benefited from a number of presentations from UN-HABITAT staff and consultants which highlighted the investment gaps in water and sanitation in the town, the results of studies carried out and the areas of possible assistance.
In endorsing a way forward, the Stakeholders agreed that there was a need to consolidate the various studies and proposals into a comprehensive Business and Investment Plan for water and sanitation development, which should address key constraints, including the expansion of the network to extend service to the entire town and the peri-urban areas, construction of a min-hydro scheme, development of groundwater resources and further capacity enhancement for the service provider. UN-HABITAT was requested to provide assistance to prepare the updated Business and Investment Plan, which will then be submitted to KFW and other interested donors with priority being given to the construction of the mini-hydro project to reduce energy costs and maximize the utilization of clean energy.