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Details of Water Cabinet Secretary Alice Wahome’s MOU with Governors

The Ministry of Water has entered into agreement with the Council of Governors to leverage on climate financing and hasten the implementation of water projects to boost access of the precious commodities in the country.

Water Cabinet Secretary Alice Wahome noted the agreement was key in ensuring the two levels of government work seamlessly with development partners to unlock the climate finances to implement water projects.

“We have water scarcity everywhere and climate change is hitting us hard. This requires that we work together so that we have strategies for better adaptation in the current position and work together with other partners on how we can leverage on climate financing, especially on investment in water management and infrastructure,” stated the CS.

A world bank report in 2022 dubbed the Country Partnership Framework (CPF) stated that piped water covers only a third of the population in the country while two-thirds of Kenyans have access to electricity compared to basic sanitation.

The agreement provides that the water sector inter- governmental coordination framework (water sector-IGCF) will introduce among the raft measures to foster water access in the country.

“This cooperation framework means that we reduce conflicts that arise from the scarcity of water and synergy in provision water,” explained the CS Wahome.

The agreement now means a technical working group, the Ministry of Water will appoint representatives of the National Government to each committee while the Council of Governors will nominate five (5) members from the Council of Governors Technical Committee responsible for Water and the County Executive Committee Members responsible for Water.

The policy framework also provides that in the event there is any dispute that may arise out of the implementation, the Intergovernmental Framework will be settled amicably through mutual consultations between the Parties.

“Where no such settlement is reached within sixty (60) days of the commencement of such consultation, the Parties will refer the dispute to the Intergovernmental Relations Technical Committee for resolution of the dispute in accordance with Articles 189 (3) and (4) of the Constitution as read with Section 33(2) of the Intergovernmental Relations Act,” reads the report.

She said that the goal of the water sector consultation and cooperation framework is to steer the attainment of a robust and sustainable water sector in Kenya through the coordination of the attainment of policy goals and standards in the sector.

“The framework will coordinate and harmonize development of norms, standards, policies, laws and sector priorities, initiate key actions and discussions on topical issues to enable effective coordination, integration, and implementation of the sector development and management agenda,” reads the report.

Council of Governors chair in charge of water and natural resources Stanley Mwadime said that they agreed to map out the gaps in the water provision in the counties.

“After decades, the MOU will foster cooperation to pool together all stakeholders so that we work together. Devolution is more impactful to the provision of water,” noted Mr Mwadime.

During the devolution conference, the CS Wahome disclosed that the ministry would soon roll out water projects in Turkana, Marsabit, Isiolo and other devolved units to improve water access.

A World Bank report in 2022 indicated that only 15 per cent of water resources are developed, while a water storage capacity of 103 cubic metres (m3) per capita is below the sub-Saharan Africa average and countries with similar hydrology and water productivity at only Sh1,716 ($14) per cubic meter, below the low- and middle-income countries average of Sh3,065 ($25).

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