SUSTAINABLE FUNDING FOR RELIABLE WATER SERVICES IN RURAL KENYA
Photo credit: Jeff Waweru
Rural water infrastructure fails regularly and leaves communities, schools and healthcare facilities without safe water for weeks and often months. Kenya’s 47 county governments are now legally responsible to deliver safe water services to all their residents.
A Water Services Maintenance Trust Fund provides a new approach to pool and manage local financial resources from government, users and results-based funders.
Professional maintenance service providers can guarantee to repair failure events in a few days and improve water safety. Kitui County has supported a social enterprise with performance metrics which are best-in-class across Africa. This now includes water safety planning with a rural laboratory supporting monitoring, treatment and reporting.
Sustainable funding is needed to meet and reduce the funding gap to break a cycle of wasted investments in building water infrastructure that fails then is abandoned and is later rebuilt. Kitui County has developed law and policy to promote results-based funding that could be relevant across Kenya’s other 46 counties.