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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 

Kenyan needs U.S. $4.8 billion dollars to fund sound sanitation 

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Kenya is in the process of developing innovative financing approaches toward achieving universal access to sound sanitation by the year 2030, a government official said on Monday.

Principal Secretary for Water and Sanitation Fred Segor said that for the east African nation to achieve the goal, it requires 4.8 billion U.S. dollars.

“We plan to connect 80 percent of urban areas with sewerage lines by 2030 through a National Water Services Strategy,” Segor said during the opening of a forum on national sanitation in Nairobi.

Segor said the planned investment will contribute to achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Six that covers sanitation given that a total of 48 percent of the population have access to improved sanitation.

“Sanitation plays a central role in sustainable development, therefore, improved access to sanitation can break the disease poverty cycle and contribute immensely to poverty alleviation,” he added.

Currently, Segor said, funding for sewerage development in urban centers is estimated at about 15 percent in Kenya.

He said that the government plans to impose a sewerage service levy on all water services within a licensee area to cover some costs of disposing of the water supplied within those limits.

Kenya, with a population of over 45 million, faces enormous challenges in providing sustainable access to safe sanitation for its fast growing population, Segor said.

The rate of urbanization in Kenya is tremendous and leads to an increasing number of sanitation hotspots that are normally found in informal settlements, he said.

“A radical shift of mindset and practices are needed in the sanitation, water sector and urban development,” World Bank Acting Manager for Water Global Practice Li Xiaokai said.

Li called for the mobilization of stakeholders to prioritize human right of all to sanitation and deliver safe management along the whole sanitation service chain.

“We must recognize that adequate urban sanitation services contribute to public health, dignity, quality of life, a healthy environment and a thriving urban economy,” he added.

Li urged the government to allocate additional funding required in achieving a road-map to ending open defecation by 2020.

“Our ambitious plan to end open defecation by 2013 failed but we are making efforts to make a huge success in 2020,” said Kepher Ombacho, director of public health.

He said that the country stands to reduce disease burden by addressing issues around water and sanitation.

“Sanitation is one of the most significant advances in preventive medicine,” he said, adding that through improved sanitation, “we will reduce cholera, worms, diarrhea, pneumonia and malnutrition.”

Martin Gambril, the World Bank’s lead water and sanitation specialist, challenged countries to create political goodwill and mobilize finances toward the up-scaling of sanitation projects.

             

 

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