By Monica Omoro.
Water and Sanitation Cabinet Secretary Simon Chelugui has called on all water sector institutions, regulators and implementers of infrastructure development to assist the country to achieve 80% water and 40% sewerage coverage by 2022; and universal coverage by 2030.
Chelugui further urged the stakeholders to monitor and evaluate progress of the on-going projects and ensure they are completed to serve the intended purpose.
The Cs also directed them to ensure that contractors and consultants working in the water and sanitation sector are properly supervised as well as guided to deliver their work.
CS Chelugui, said this while officially opening a three day induction seminar of the Board of Directors of Water Sector Institutions held at Sai Rock, Hotel, in Mombasa .
“The country is at an advanced stage of implementing the Big Four Agenda of Development.Water is a critical enabler in this process. You are joining the water and sanitation sector at a time when most of our projects/programs are coming to an end’, the CS added .
He added that most ongoing projects will be completed by 2020, while medium- and long-term ones are expected to be completed by year 2022.
‘In order to ensure continuity of our work, we urgently need to start developing new project proposals. I urge you to immediately start to consider and initiate new projects proposals for the next cycle beyond the year 2022. Further as you develop the proposals, priority must be given to projects/programs that will help to achieve universal coverage for water and sanitation by 2030, water resources conservation and protection, pollution control and regulation of river flows”, Cs Chelugui appealed to the participants .
The Cs said that the role of Board of Directors is to guide the institution in the performance of its mandate and services delivery.
This mandate, the CS added is effectively achieved when the Board draws up a clear calendar of activities based on the institution’s work plans and guided by existing Government regulations.
He added that the duty of the management on the other hand is to implement Board decisions in a timely manner.
‘I expect you to earn rather than demand respect from staff, while desisting from micro managing the organizations. Let the executive implement your decisions without too much interference. I therefore urge you to observe the separation of roles in the spirit of harmony and complimentary co-existence to enable the institution effectively perform its mandate and deliver services’, Chelugui said .
CS Chelugui announced that an International Sanitation Conference organized by his Ministry will take place in October this year in Mombasa.
He revealed that the aim of the conference is to uplift the profile of the Sanitation and Sewerage Sector to enable it attract more funding and visibility and lamented that current urban coverage stood at only 25%. greatly exposing the public to water borne diseases.
The CS at the same time announced that a Directorate of Sanitation will be established in his Ministry to ensure that the growth of the sector and assist Kenyans to handle this issue. He further assured Kenyans that the upcoming Sanitation Conference will change the face of the Sanitation sector for the better.
The Cs once again dis-associated the Ministry of Water and Sanitation from issues concerning the Arror and Kiwarer Dam saying that the projects were under the Kerio Valley Development Authority.
However he admitted that key dams like the Sh 42 billion Thwake Multipurpose Dam in Kitui, Mwache Dam in the Coast and others under construction are under his Ministry and are set to bridge the existing water gaps in their areas and make persons living in these counties water secure.
He dispelled fears that the newly appointed Board members of the Water sector Institutions will abandon their posts without achieving much as most of them were politicians and noted that they had signed specific contracts with the Ministry after being competitively recruited and employed.
The curtains came down on the Boards Induction Retreat on Saturday 25th, May, this year with the Ministry’s Chief Administrative Secretary Ms Winnie Guchu officially closing it while challenging the Water and Sanitation Sector leaders to focus more on providing solutions to sector problems, rather than dwelling on problems and challenges facing it.
Speaking during the ceremony, PS Joseph Irungu, said the success of the water sector depends on oversight provided by the boards.
‘We want to dwell on solutions. Yes, there is a problem of resources, but also there is a problem of funds absorption. There is an urgency for us to meet, yes, but let’s meet when we have solutions, which are sustainable, get clear timelines in Water Sector Institutional reforms, and give a way forward,”, the CAS told the Chairpersons, Board Member’s, Senior officials from the ministry and the water sector institutions’, said the PS.