France gives Kenya Sh4.4 billion grant for water, slums upgrade projects

France has given Kenya a 40 million Euros (Sh4.4 billion) grant that will cover 27.5 per cent of a Lake Victoria water and sanitation, and slums upgrade project.

In the deal signed on Friday, the Lake Victoria Water and Sanitation project was allocated Sh550million and the slums upgrade Sh3.9 billion.

The World Bank through the International Development Association will give 60.5 per cent of the fund, said Treasury CS Henry Rotich.

The Swedish International Development Agency and the government will each give six per cent, Rotich said during the signing at his office in Nairobi on Thursday.

French Ambassador Remi Marachaux said 21 floodlights will be constructed in slums in Nakuru, Eldoret and Mombasa.

Another 27 floodlights are under construction in Machakos, Nairobi and Naivasha, he said.

The CS said the water and sanitation project is part of a bigger regional plan involving Uganda and Tanzania.

“Lake Victoria is an important national and regional resource which not only supplies water to farms around the lake but also has great potential for the development of regional lake transport and tourism,” he said.

He said the project will result in easier access to the affordable and sustainable supply of clean, safe water in Kisumu.

Rotich said the kitty will also improve the Dunga water pumping system enabling a secondary distribution network from Mamboleo and Obwolo tanks in Northern Kisumu and supply of water to Ahero and Kiboswa-Peri.

“The project will also provide sanitation and waste management services through rehabilitation and extension of sewage networks,” he said.

Rotich said Kenya is undergoing rapid urbanisation which has adversely affected the environment and social well-being.

He said the government, with assistance from development partners, have launched a series of initiatives, including the Kenya informal settlements improvement project, as a result.

The aim is to transform the areas into economic growth centres, he said, noting the project will benefit at least 2.5 million people living and working in informal sectors.

The project targets 15 urban areas across the country and aims to improve roads, drainage, footpaths, water sanitation, infrastructure and installation of floodlights.

Present were Lands CS Jacob Kaimenyi, Water’s Eugene Wamalwa and principal secretaries and representatives of the World Bank.

-the-star.co.ke

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