26 May 2003

Kenya: Karua: Water Sector Reforms to Go On

Nairobi — The Government will not backtrack on its course to undertake radical reforms in the water sector, minister Martha Karua has said.

The minister said the restructuring of the sector has been misinterpreted by certain people who do not understand key issues inherent in the reforms.

She disclosed that the main aim of the reforms is to provide water services efficiently to all people in the country. "Reforms are not the same as privatisation and retrenchment as some of you might think," she said.

Karua disclosed that the reforms will also help protect natural resources which she said was a sign of commitment on the part of the Government to use the resources in a sustainable manner.

The remarks were contained in a speech read on her behalf by her assistant minister, John Munyes during a strategic planning workshop in Kisumu.

She said the reforms will also involve re-deployment and retraining of staff to make them more productive.

Karua said all provincial and district heads of department will undergo a management development course to upgrade their management skills in a bid to improve their performance.

She said the courses will be organised by Human resources Development Division (HRD).

Karua urged those charged with the responsibility of undertaking the reforms in the sector to carry out their duties in a transparent and efficient manner to ensure its success.

"I also expect them to communicate their activities to all segments of the Kenyan people as the reforms affect everyone" she said.

She called upon all employees in the sector to carry out their duties and strive to meet the expectations of their clients.

Karua said the ministry was also working towards acquiring modern tools to effectively manage water resources in the country.

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