By Monica Omoro
Water and Sanitation Cabinet Secretary Mr Simon Chelugui is calling on all water sector institutions (WSIs) to step up efforts of making Kenya to achieve its targets of 80 percent water coverage and 40 percent sanitation coverage by 2022 and universal coverage for both by 2030.
Chelugui, who was officially opening an induction seminar of boards of directors of WSIs in Mombasa said the new boards were being inducted to enable them to steer the institutions to deliver on their reformed mandates.
Chelugui further said since the country was undergoing transition to conform with the requirements of the Constitution of Kenya 2010 to devolve numerous functions to counties, the Ministry of Water and Sanitation is keen to ensure that the reforms do not interfere with the country’s ability to meet its targets.
“I urge you to immediately come up with new project proposals for the next cycle beyond the year 2022. Priority must be given to projects 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,” the CS said.
He emphasized the need for the new board members to remain steadfast in playing their oversight roles and desist from interfering with the day-to-day operations of the WSIs.
He announced that the Ministry had plans to convene an International Sanitation Conference in October, 2019 to enhance its visibility and profile, and therefore attract more funding for sanitation.
He decried the fact that sanitation access has lagged at only 25 percent, hence the need to boost it.
In order to ensure that this happens, the CS announced that his Ministry will be establishing a Directorate of Sanitation.
Speaking during the same event, the Principal Secretary, Mr. Joseph Irungu, assured the country that the ongoing reforms were not only on course, but were also bearing fruit.
Irungu urged the new board members to familiarize with key Ministry documents including the Strategic Plan, the Service Charter and the Procurement and Human Resources Procedures Manual among others.
The Chief Administrative Secretary, Ms Winnie Guchu challenged the leaders to focus more on providing solutions to problems facing the sector, rather than dwelling on problems and challenges.
“There is urgency for us to meet, yes, but let’s meet when we have solutions, which are sustainable, set clear timelines on reforms, and give a way forward. If you invest in people who are empowered, funds will follow you,” Guchu said.
Earlier, the Acting water Secretary. Eng Samwel Alima informed participants that tremendous progress had been made towards reforming the water sector over the transition period, which began in April 2017. They include the development of the National Water Policy; a Communication Strategy and Plan; and Transition and Transfer policies that will ensure achievement of the separation of roles of county and the national government in water and sanitation service delivery.
At the event were CEOs and board members of all WSIs among them Mr. Patrick Kokonya, Chairperson, Kenya Water Sector Trust Fund, WSTF, and CEO, Mr Ismael Shaiye, Water Regulatory Authority, WRA, Chairperson Hon, Joe Mutambu, CEO, Mr Mohammed Shurie, Kenya Water Institute, KEWI Chairperson Ms. Wavinya Ndeti CEO, Dr Leunita Sumba. Others were MWS directors who included: Mr Crispin Juma, Water Resources Management, Eng John Muiruri, Infrastructure Development, Ms Carole Mugwe, Human Resources Management and Developmental staff of the MWS and WSIs.
The writer is the Head Public Communication Department
By Monica Omoro