-As prepared -
The Honorable Jack Ranguma, Governor of Kisumu County;
The Chairman of KIWASCO – Israel Agina ;
KIWASCO Managing Director - Engineer David Onyango;
Colleagues from the World Bank and USAID;
Partners in USAID’s Sustainable Water and Sanitation for Africa program;
Ladies and gentlemen;
Good morning. Thank you for inviting me to participate in the commissioning of Nyamasaria Water Project. It is an exciting day for me and I am happy to bear witness to the commissioning of this water project.
I am excited to see how USAID is supporting Kenyans as you strive to improve your communities, your health and your quality of life. This water distribution system, built by Kisumu Water and Sewerage Company in a densely populated urban neighborhood is a great example of how USAID is supporting Kenyan-led development.
Sustainable development is not possible without water, sanitation and hygiene, which we call WASH. Lack of access to safe water and sanitation services has direct health implications. Nearly 800,000 children younger than 5 die from diarrhea each year. Most of those deaths could have been prevented by providing safe drinking water, adequate sanitation and good hygiene. Water, sanitation and hygiene interventions are an important tool for creating and sustaining healthy, thriving societies.
Ladies and gentlemen, USAID is committed to helping Kenya achieve the Millennium Development Goals by 2015. In 2005 the U.S. Congress passed an act named the Paul Simon Water for the Poor Act. This act mandates U.S. Government to set aside resources to help developing countries to increase access to safe water and improved sanitation.
Today’s commissioning is the result of almost two years of hard work and commitment by KIWASCO, USAID’s Sustainable Water and Sanitation in Africa, and K-Rep Bank. The results of this project include innovative payment terms. These terms make water connections affordable for everyone, especially low-income earners. At the same time, the payment terms provide the utility with the capital required to extend their network of services to informal urban settlements.
Indeed, careful investment planning and business analysis by the partners resulted in a loan of 20.1 million Kenya Shillings to KIWASCO to construct small pipe infrastructure to bring water to Nyamasaria. We are pleased that this effort has allowed over 16,000 residents of Nyamasaria to access clean, affordable and reliable water.
We are also pleased that this collaboration has established a model for how to transform the water and sanitation sector with private financing. The project’s successes offer a guide for demand-driven and sustainable projects that focus on identifying commercially viable investments and extending low-cost services to new urban settlements.
The model represents a win-win for customers, utilities and financial institutions alike. Governor Ranguma, I know you’ll promote this innovative financing scheme to your fellow governors who are also committed to bring clean water to the people. This model can contribute tremendously to expanding access to water in urban areas throughout the country.
I believe the key to realizing the Millennium Development Goal on water and sanitation is to be found in creating Kenyan-led solutions to sustainable water financing.
Today, we are witnessing here in Nyamasaria, in Kisumu, such a solution at work.
Once again, I would like to thank everyone for the hard work, commitment and contributions that led to this official commissioning ceremony today. Most importantly, I would like to thank all the partners that made this possible, especially the Nyamasaria community, which has been an active and engaged partner throughout the process.
Last updated: January 22, 2015