Water covers about 71 percent of the Earth’s surface as the oceans hold about 96.5 percent of all Earth’s water, despite this fresh water available is just about 0.5% of the Earth’s water which is in turn quite minimal hence the Ministry of Water Sanitation and Irrigation is advancing response to the water scarcity challenge in the country through a strategic partnership with the private sector. The Water, Sanitation & Irrigation Cabinet Secretary Hon. Alice Wahome called on urgency in response to this matter entailing the embrace of Public Private Partnership (PPP) initiatives with the aim of providing sustainable and reliable water services to all Kenyan citizens. Addressing the perpetual water scarcity that has been evident in the country she believes is going to be addressed in the initiative dubbed 100 Dam Initiative. This initiative, the 100 Dam Initiative, is to be funded by private investors, at an estimated cost of KES 1.7 trillion. The 100 PPP Dams Initiative seeks private sector capital and technology through a Design, Build, Finance, Operate, Maintain, and Transfer model as they are developed across the country. “Understanding the urgency of this challenge it’s vital for collaboration with the private sector to effectively tackle it. Through PPPs, the Ministry can leverage the expertise, resources, and innovation of private entities to enhance water infrastructure and service delivery, The program intends to provide clean drinking to an additional 6 million households, bring one million acres under irrigation, and generate 554 MW hydropower,” said Hon. Wahome. The Ministry seeks to integrate technology and sustainable approaches to optimize water usage, reduce wastage, and ensure long-term water security for the nation. Thereby linkages with the PPPs will foster the adoption of innovative technologies and sustainable practices in water management. This includes the implementation of efficient irrigation systems, rainwater harvesting projects, and water conservation initiatives. “Firstly, it focuses on expanding water infrastructure, including the construction and rehabilitation of dams, pipelines, and water treatment facilities. These initiatives will increase the availability and accessibility of clean water to communities across the country. Emphasis will be placed on community participation, education, and training programs as they will empower local communities to take ownership of their water resources, promote responsible water usage, and enable the sustainable management of water systems,” she added. The CS further revealed the unveiling of a program with the investors and partners that will plant 250 million trees in the areas dam drainage areas, and soil erosion barriers to restore areas along the rivers. This is in response to the degraded state of the water catchment areas, as soil carried from farmlands is carried away and accumulated at the bottom of the dams in turn resulting in poor water quality. This consequently causes the high cost of water treatment as well as the short service life of water storage facilities. In addition, the CS reiterated that in all this by adopting innovative financing models and optimizing operational efficiency, the Ministry aims to ensure that water services are accessible and affordable to all Kenyan citizens, irrespective of their socioeconomic backgrounds. According to the Principal Secretary of, State Department for Water and Sanitation, Dr. Kiprono Ronoh P. his conviction is that the private sector of the Government’s commitment to working with them to address water scarcity challenges. “The Ministry is keen to work with different expertise and technology providers to co-create PPP models best suited for different circumstances – both large and small rural, including operation and management contracts to address the challenges of Non- Revenue Water,” he said.
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