As an important resource for life, and a catalyst for economic growth and prosperity, the WSS situation in Kenya is yet to reach the optimal level of efficiency. The past performance of national water and sanitation utilities has been characterised by management inefficiencies, poor investment planning and suboptimal operations and maintenance of WSS infrastructure. Nonetheless, the sector has made significant progress mainly due to reforms, harmonisation and alignments efforts of different stakeholders. According to the Kenya National Water Services Strategy (2007 - 2015), sustainable water access levels in Kenya are currently estimated to be at 57%, while sanitation is estimated at 50%. In the urban areas, sustainable access to safe drinking water and proper sanitation is estimated at 60% whereas access for the urban poor and in rural areas is estimated at 20% and 40% respectively.
Central to WSS reform is the isolation of management of water resources and the provision of water and sewerage services. The Water Act (2002) provides the basis of decentralised structures, from the line ministry in charge of WSS affairs to the consumer. Institutions that have come up as a result of this decentralisation are varied from a functional and jurisdictional point of view and include Water Services Regulatory Board, several Water Services Boards, Water Resources Management Authority, Water Services Trust Fund, and the Water Appeals Board.