A heavily polluted Nairobi River. Photo credit: Slum TV .

The African Development Bank’s Board of Directors has approved Ksh 7.3 billion (€62.914 million) to finance the provision of sustainable wastewater services through the ‘Nairobi Rivers Basin R************n and Restoration Programme: Sewerage Improvement Project Phase II’.

The objective of the project is to improve access, quality, availability and sustainability of wastewater services in Nairobi City to help restore the Nairobi River Basin.

The project, co-financed by the French Development Agency (AFD) with additional Ksh 2.3 billion (€ 20 million), targets prioritised sanitation investments in Nairobi City to improve health and living conditions in the national capital.

An estimated 500,000 people are expected to benefit from the project through r************n and construction of wastewater treatment facilities at Dandora, construction of 220km sewer reticulation network including faecal sludge management infrastructure, as well as construction and r************n of 100 toilet facilities in Nairobi’s informal settlements.

The project will also support Athi Water Services Board and Nairobi City Water and Sewerage Company to offer improved sanitation services through institutional strengthening.

“Delayed and inadequate investments in wastewater management have resulted in poor wastewater services in Nairobi”, said Wambui Gichuri, Director of Water and Sanitation, noting, this “project will deliver safe, adequate and reliable sanitation services, reducing health risks and economic burdens.”

With total costs estimated at Ksh 8.2 billion (€70.841 million), the project will be financed with the Bank’s Ksh 6.9 billion (€59.407 million) loan (83.9%) and Ksh 407 million (€3.507 million) loan from the African Development Fund (4.9%) with the Government of Kenya contributing Ksh 920 million (€7.927 million). The project, to be implemented in 48 months, will improve access to sanitation services from 48% to 70%.

Nairobi is home to an estimated 4.4 million people, representing about 9% of the country’s total population of 48.5 million. Kenya each year loses an estimated one percent of GDP due to poor sanitation. Urban services have not kept pace with rapid expansion, with the existing sewerage infrastructure serving only 48% of the city.

The environmental degradation and public health impacts due to poor sanitation are leading to high child mortality and morbidity, poor school attendance and performance, especially for girls, and low productivity.

The project aligns with the Bank’s Country Strategy Paper (CSP) 2014–2018, and directly contributes to the first pillar by supporting investments that would have positive effects on the health of Nairobi residents.

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The CSP has a strong feature on the contribution of water supply and sanitation to the “High 5” development agenda. The project supports Kenya’s Vision 2030 by providing comprehensive infrastructure systems as a basis for balanced, sustainable and inclusive growth.

The project also contributes towards attainment of the Sustainable Development Goal 6 on ‘Universal Access to Water and Sanitation.

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