Water

Creating the benchmarks, business models and plans, as well as facilitating investment to drive greater access to clean water, improving population health and enabling business growth

Women with tap

Water is a vital strategic asset for any country and plays a significant role in economic development, serving as a critical resource for agriculture, industry, and domestic consumption.

Kenya’s future as an economy will involve strategic choices around water.

Man with glass of water

Why is the sector important?

Presently, Kenya loses $1.5 billion every year due to inadequate water supply, and the country has one of the world’s lowest renewable water resource rates.

Furthermore, changes in weather and climate patterns are set to create additional challenges: by 2030, it is estimated that the demand for water in Kenya will exceed resource availability by 30%.

With a growing demand-supply gap, Kenya has the ambition to achieve universal access by 2030 (SDG 6).

A water tank distribution point

The opportunity

In Kenya, the government has started to reform its water sector in recent years – and the decentralisation of authority to country governments has yielded positive change.

While not every part of the institutional arrangement is functioning well, some aspects are working and can serve as a platform moving forward. There is a willingness among stakeholders to learn.

This commitment to learning and tracking performance is being driven by the growth of relevant data and the increasing level of transparency in the sector. Stakeholders have an opportunity to reflect on what is working and ensure the right issues are prioritised.

Donors are willing to support the sector. If effective service delivery models can be identified, then the finance required for scale should be readily available.

Our areas of work

Convening the government and donors around a sector vision and learning from how other countries have transformed their water sectors

Enhancing coordination mechanisms, information flows, transparency, and overall governance, to ensure there is greater accountability for delivery

Working with counties and utility firms to improve performance levels

Stimulating innovation and trialling high-potential service delivery models in rural areas

“When we started working with Kenya Markets Trust [through support from Gatsby Africa], we had around 300 connections, and no metering had been done. Our connections are now at 934, of which 90% are metered. Once we started gathering user information, we had confidence in being able to collect revenues from the water supplied, which translates to our sustainability as a water utility”
Tachasis Water and Sanitation Company