National Bank of Kenya (NBK) in partnership with Aqua for All, has launched a Ksh5 billion water, sanitation and hygiene financing program.
The program will cater for clientele spanning micro, small and medium enterprises, corporates, public and private entities, vendors, technology providers, and various suppliers of products and services within the water, sanitation and hygiene value chain up to last-mile connectivity for communities and individuals.
The partnership will also greatly supplement all national efforts to close the existing funding gap in the sector to realize the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 6, aiming at ensuring universal access to safe and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all by the year 2030.
The program will provide flexible financing solutions to the investment needs of SMEs, in a bid to accelerate the commercial viability and social impact of the water economy. Aqua for All will employ its global expertise to support the development of innovative and viable products, funding and delivery solution models for the water sector through this program.
Speaking during the program Launch, NBK Managing Director, Paul Russo reiterated the bank’s commitment to providing tailor-made products and services to a variety of SMEs needs to ensure long-term growth.
“This partnership comes at an opportune time as Kenyans and especially the SME sector continues to face very difficult times with the ongoing p******c. With this new product, we seek to scale up the SMES in the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene economy for sustainable water services. As a bank, we are constantly looking for opportunities to support long-term growth to SMEs in all sectors of the economy. I call upon all SMEs in the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene sector to take advantage of the opportunities presented under this program to help them address the financial gaps in their operations,” Mr Russo said.
The NBK Water, Sanitation and Hygiene financing program will offer flexible financing solutions under two different facilities including working capital loans dubbed “Jenga Biashara Loan” that targets informal/semi-formal entrepreneurs providing Water, Sanitation and Hygiene products/services in urban and rural areas, and the “Infrastructure Project Loans” that target household connections, smart metering, solar projects and other efficiency improvement assets.
“Today marks a huge milestone for us and the SME players in the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene sector. Through this partnership and shared vision with NBK, we will be able to create a conducive environment for Water sector enterprises, institutions and communities to provide sustainable Water, Sanitation and Hygiene services to all people,” said Ms Josien Sluijs, Managing Director Aqua for All.