The Star (Nairobi)

10 September 2012

Africa: 14 Million To Go Without Water By 2015 - AfDB Report

AN African Development Bank report projects that 14 million Kenyans will still be without improved water sources by 2015, which is way below the set Millennium Development Goals target.

The report titled, 'Development Aid and Access to Water and Sanitation in Sub-Saharan Africa' says the figure is 6 percent more than the projected figure of 11.5 million in the MDGs.

The banks cautions it will be difficult for the country to meet MDG target on water and sanitation since by the same year Kenya is projected to have 26.6 million people without proper sanitation which stands at 12 million more than MDGs target "By this figures it will be difficult for Kenya to meet its MDGs target by 2015," the bank says.

The book blames Kenya's low improvement of water and sanitation on the country's rapid population growth especially in urban areas and an increase of un-hygienic practices like open toilets with 52 per cent and 32 per cent for urban and rural areas respectively accessing safe water and sanitation.

"Generally, coverage of both water and sanitation is highly variable across the country like in Western Kenya only 13.5 per cent residents in Bondo district have access to safe water while 15 per cent of Wajir residents can access any form of sanitation," the book says. The book which has developed the study in other Sub-Saharan African countries of Burkina Faso, Madagascar and Uganda sets to "compare country performance in the water and sanitation sector and to analyze how effectively the associated development aid was used."

"Kenya with only 15% of fresh water resources exploited has a huge investment potential from both the government and development partners," the report says. In a research carried out between 2000-2008 funding on water and sanitation grow from Sh7.6-36.8 billion with the government providing 70% funding and the rest being picked by development partners. Over the period "The AfDB ranked seventh among the donors, providing a cumulative amount of Sh1.5bilion." Other top donors included Germany, Sweden, France and Denmark.

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