Challenges facing the Water and Sanitation sector in Kenya

A number of challenges exist in the WSS sector. These range from Central Government, donor, utility, and end user related challenges. We focus on the top three challenges below.

Central Government Challenges

An overall restructuring of the WSS line ministry to enable it to effectively carry out responsibilities under its new mandate

Total and absolute transfer of functions, duties and responsibilities from the old WSS institutional set-up to the new structures and institutions formed and suggested under the Water Act (2002)

Concentration of efforts in deepening the Sector Wide Approach initiatives that includes operationalisation of various recent strategies and the move towards a results based budget that is aligned with strategies and sector investment plan

Little investment being put in augmentation, rehabilitation of existing WSS infrastructure, and expansion of WSS schemes.

Donor related challenges

Concentration of efforts to WSS as opposed to a multi-sector financing approach in support of developmental initiatives

Fund management challenges and infusion of accountability of fund recipients.

Utility challenges

Financial management capacity i.e. existing internal control weaknesses and integrating redundant inherited financial management systems (such as disparate, non-integrated, outdated, and inefficient systems and processes)

Water resources, assets, and systems management e.g water investments planning, maintenance of WSS infrastructure, quality control and assurance, urban WSS management, reducing Non-Revenue Water, leakage control, and equipment installation

Commercialisation constraints such as setting of utility rates, supply vs demand management, metering strategies, end user efficiency strategies, and active detection of illegal connections and water pilferage to reduce commercial losses

Workforce challenges and organisation structure review to improve, attract and retain employees with knowledge, skills and abilities required for each position within the utility in the context of local labour market conditions

Asset ownership issues to enable utilities to develop comprehensive investment decisions regarding WSS infrastructure in its service area

Utility self financing constraints to finance their existing capital expenditure programmes and enhance subsequent bankability.