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Athi Water Services Board focus on Pro-poor Water Strategies

athimaji

By Eng Simon Mwaniki

Athi Water Services Board (AWSB) is a state corporation under the Ministry of Water and Irrigation with a mandate to develop and plan water and sewerage services and also to oversee provision of these services in a cost effective manner by the Water Services Providers.

Completed Projects under the Community Project Cycle

The Community Project Cycle (CPC), initiated in 2006, is a funding mechanism developed together with the Water Services Trust Fund (WSTF), together with Water Services Boards (WSBs), to support the poorest locations in rural Kenya. It is currently focused on enhancing the capacity of communities to apply for, manage, implement and maintain their own water and sanitation facilities.

 

The Athi Water Services Board has successfully implemented 10 CPC projects. These are:

    Ngumi and Runana (Kikuyu constituency)

    Gathanga, Ndumberi and Kiambaa-Kawaida (Kiambaa constitutency)

    Waing’ere (Githunguri constituency)

    Muthiga, Mukinyi and Kahuguini (Gatundu constituency)

    Greystone and Ngelelya (Gatanga constituency).

“These projects are benefiting an estimated population of 50,000 people in our area of operation,” opines Loisewater tanks Kamau, AWSB’s Senior Community Development Officer. This, she notes, is progressively assisting in the realization of right to water and sanitation as enshrined in the new Constitution.

The projects have utilized a community-based, demand-driven approach where community members were involved in all stages, from planning through to construction. Finally, they were to become fully responsible for the operation and maintenance (O&M) of the projects upon completion. Men and women from the communities formed community-based organizations (CBOs) to maintain all water-related activities, promote social development work and livelihood activities, undertake tariff collection, manage micro-credit schemes, technical operations and monitoring of results. Towards this, the Athi Water Services Board trained CBOs on financial, technical, operational and managerial aspects of these projects at an early stage.

The simplicity and transparency of this arrangement has been proven, and social control has already minimized misuse. In addition, water fees are directly linked to actual water kioskscosts for water provision and have been discussed with and approved by community organizations. Under this lean management arrangement, users generally pay less because there is no need for the bureaucratic and technical apparatus generally associated with more centralized systems of water supply management.

The project outputs include 8 new boreholes, alongside the development and operationalization of 3 existing boreholes; construction of 11 water tanks with a combined storage capacity of 940m3, and construction of 35 water kiosks.

Improving rural sanitation facilities

VIP Toilets under CPC

Under the CPC cycle, the Board has instituted measures aimed at addressing sanitation needs in these areas by increasing water-borne sewage solutions to rural populations through on-site systems such as VIP Toilets, UDDT toilets and other appropriate technology.

Against this backdrop, the Board has constructed VIP latrines in learning institutions within its area of jurisdiction. At the same time 40 dilapidated toilets have been rehabilitated. Approximately 5000 pupils in 10 public schools have benefited.

Global Partnership on Output-Based Aid (GPOBA)

GPOBA stands for the Global Partnership on Output-Based Aid (GPOBA), which is a partnership of donors and international organizations working together to support output-based aid (OBA) approaches.

GPOBA’s mandate is to fund, design, demonstrate, and document OBA approaches to improve delivery of basic infrastructure and social services to the poor in developing countries. The Board has so far implemented 8 projects under GPOBA pilot project.

These are:

  Kiamumbi      • Mataara        • Karweti

  Gitaru             • Kamandura  • Kamirithu

  Kinoo             • Karanjee

The majority of these projects have already completed loan repayment and some have applied for a second loan to expand their projects. The programme has now been scaled up under the tag name “Maji ni maisha” and more projects have continued to access financing.

Sanitation in schools

AWSB has supported and continues to support the improvement of sanitation facilities for learning institutions in the rural sector. Many institutions have benefitted through various programmes implemented by the Board. Under the Water & Sanitation Services Improvement Programme (WaSSIP), a total of ten schools which had dilapidated facilities have benefitted through the  construction of toilet blocks comprising five units for boys, five for girls and two for the physically challenged in each school.

These institutions are Kiambogo Secondary (Kijabe), Githirioni Primary (Lari), Utugi secondary (Kinale Lari), Kirasha Primary (Kamae Lari), Gathangari primary (Githunguri), Rubiro (Thika East), Ndundu Primary, Kiawandiga Primary and Wamitaa primary (all in Gatundu) and Ndunyu Chege (Gatanga).

A further 3 schools have benefitted through the Kenya Water and Sanitation Programme (KWSP)

sanitation in schools

 

Ecological sanitation

Under ecological sanitation, the Board is implementing the Urine Dehydrating Dry Toilets (UDDT) project supported by GIZ and financed through the Water Services Trust Fund. The project targets to construct a total of 52 units. Most of these will be one-door units constructed at the household level, and a few two door units for selected institutions. Already, 17 units have been completed and are in use in Ngelelya, Gatuanyaga, Kamae and Kinale areas. The rest are on-going.

The role of AWSB in the project include resource mobilization; identification of beneficiary community-based organisations; mobilization and sensitization of communities in selected areas; guiding the community-led process of site selection, identification of local artisans, mobilization of community contribution and identification of local suppliers of materials; training of artisans, as well as monitoring and evaluation during the implementation and post –implementation stages.

A double door UDDT facility under construction at Utugi Secondary in Kinale and a single door unit in Ngelelya.

ecological sanitation

On going community projects

Currently there are seven community projects under the CPC programme in various stages of implementation. Expected outputs include new boreholes, water storage tanks, laying of distribution lines, as well as construction of water kiosks and VIP latrines. On completion, these projects will serve a further 35,000 people in AWSB area of jurisdiction.

 

Water companies

AWSB has licensed 12 water service providers ( WSPs) within its jurisdiction. Among these, four are rural-based and hence provide water and sanitation services to rural residents on behalf of AWSB. These include Gatundu, Githunguri, Karemenu and Gatanga.

Some urban WSPs also serve a large percentage of the rural population. These include Limuru, Kikuyu, Karuri, Kiambu, Ruiru, Juja and Thika.

All these WSPs are supported by AWSB to improve and expand their services to all residents within their contracted areas. AWSB has just finalized a Masterplan for water and sewerage for Nairobi and satellite towns, so as to realize attainment of the aspirations of Vision 2030.

Future plans

AWSB is committed to ensuring a progressive realization of the right to safe water for every citizen as enshrined in the Constitution. To achieve this, the Board is using the Water Service Boards Investment Tool (WaSBIT) to identify underserved areas and target them for financing through the CPC programme and other funding models. Using the poverty index, population density, water and sanitation coverage, the system has assigned a priority index for every sub-location as below:

Naturally, sub-locations with higher priority index are needier as far as investments are concerned.

The same tool is being used to update data on areas where projects have been recently completed, making it easy for the board to measure its progress over the years.

Corporate social responsibility

AWSB continues to partner with communities and WSPs within our area of jurisdiction in various activities as part of our CSR. These include but are not limited to:

• Tree planting     • Environmental cleanup campaigns• Donation of plastic water tanks to public institutions

Majority of AWSB staff are members of the young Water Professionals Organisation that has recently been formed to train and mentor young people in schools to prepare them to become water professionals in future.

 

 

AWSB to Explore New Water Sources under Master Plan*

By Mbugua Njoroge

new master plan launched by the Kenyan government through the Athi Water Services Board in partnership with utilities and donors calls for an intensified search for alternative water sources to meet rising demand in the rapidly expanding city of Nairobi and adjacent towns.

The master plan acknowledges a water supply shortfall that threatens industrial progress and human health in the Kenyan capital.

“Investment in Water Supply has lagged behind since 1994 and demand now outstrips supply,” Eng. David Stower, Permanent Secretary (PS) in the Ministry of Water and Irrigation told a stakeholders’ consultative forum held on August 29, 2011 at a Nairobi hotel. Development of new water sources, the PS added is a strategic venture that is in line with the government’s vision of positioning Nairobi to become a hub for investment and industrial activity in the region with a basic and reliable water supply and sewerage facilities, solid waste collection and disposal facilities and adequate disposal and transport infrastructure.

“As you are aware, Kenya is classified by the UN as a chronically water scarce country. The current level of water resources is low at only 15%,” Stower reminded the delegates, adding that the Ministry of Water and Natural Resources had earmarked and allocated resources for the construction of 25 large dams, slated for completion by 2015, to support irrigation projects and control flooding in several parts of the country.

The government is aware of rising population and the corresponding demand for the availability of resources, and the PS is calling on the private sector to chip in and assist in addressing the crisis.

The Nairobi water supply master plan was developed by the Athi Water Services Board with funding from the World Bank and the French Development Agency (AFD). It details strategies to meet universal water supply targets for Nairobi and 13 satellite towns by 2035.

Nairobi has been targeted owing to its crucial role as an important centre for trade, commerce and regional integration in the Eastern African region. According to Eng. Malaquen Milgo, Nairobi metropolitan area contributes 50 per cent of the national GDP, in realization of which the government of Kenya has assigned a high political priority to addressing the chronic water supply problems facing the city and its satellite towns.

The preliminary master plan report notes that current trends in infrastructure development have not matched population growth and housing density in the city. Consequently, infrastructure is experiencing low pressure in the network, leakage in distribution reticulation, deteriorating status of pipes, challenges in tracking of illegal connections, lack of adequate coverage of consumers, and vandalism of controls at appurtenances.

“The city and its satellite towns still face large water supply deficits, which have been magnified during the past two years of drought,” the report notes.

Cited as part of the solution is paying greater attention to groundwater development and management. The report notes that ground water is an important emergency source that can be constructed in relatively short time with low initial capital investment.

Currently, groundwater contributes 45,000 cubic meters daily to Nairobi’s water supply for both domestic and industrial use, with the potential to grow by 1,000 cubic meters daily by 2035. However, the report notes that its development is largely unplanned and not strictly regulated. For instance, available data suggests that for each well that is registered there may be 2-3 others that are not.

In addition, some of the boreholes have high fluoride levels ranging from 5 to 11mg/l, way above the drinking water quality standards set by WHO of 1.5-2.5 mg/l. 

The master plan identifies new groundwater sources in Nairobi and adjoining districts that have been tested and proved fit for human consumption. Two, in Kiunyu and Ruiru, are estimated to have a capacity of 64,800 m3/day.Diversion and transfer of rivers in the Central highlands is projected to catalyze development of new reservoirs, according to the plan.  The proposed Northern Collector Phase 1 is meant to divert and transfer Irati, Gigigie and Maragua Rivers while Phase II plans to divert and transfer South Mathioya, Hembe, Githugi and Northern Mathioya rivers. The plan also proposes to construct the Maragua Reservoir whose yield is dependent on cross-basin transfer and varies for different scenarios. Another dam is proposed at Ndarugu, with Chania and Komu rivers transfer.

Recycling of wastewater, although expensive, is the other viable option the plan proposes to address water scarcity in Nairobi. Another option is for the indirect use of treated wastewater to recharge aquifers and replenish surface water reservoirs. “Treated or partially-treated waste water can be used for industrial and agricultural purposes, as well as for environmental and recreational use,” said Eng. Malaquen Milgo.

Hon. Reuben Ndolo, the Athi Water Services Board Chairman, challenged financiers and utilities to mobilize resources to install 25,000 new connections annually to meet the 2035 target, adding that the Water Master Plan project is vital and its value will be measured by the changes it will bring to the millions of water consumers in Nairobi.

“Its impact will be felt in the informal settlement of Nairobi’s metropolitan region, and rural areas within Nairobi,” said the Chairman, reminding stakeholders that this will go on to feed the local economy through the skills and labor from those to be involved in the construction work. The project is also likely to open up areas which have not been served with basic infrastructure such as roads, water and electricity, and Mr. Ndolo noted that the aspirations of Vision 2030 -- such as economic growth, accessibility to basic human needs like education, health, water and sanitation -- are the conditions of joint endeavors to bring development and prosperity.

 

 

Athi Water Services Board (AWSB) is a state corporation under the Ministry of Water and Irrigation with a mandate to develop and plan water and sewerage services and also to oversee provision of these services in a cost effective manner by the Water Services Providers.

 

Completed Projects under the Community Project Cycle

 

The Community Project Cycle (CPC), initiated in 2006, is a funding mechanism developed together with the Water Services Trust Fund (WSTF), together with Water Services Boards (WSBs), to support the poorest locations in rural Kenya. It is currently focused on enhancing the capacity of communities to apply for, manage, implement and maintain their own water and sanitation facilities.

The Athi Water Services Board has successfully implemented 10 CPC projects. These are:

 

    Ngumi and Runana (Kikuyu constituency)

    Gathanga, Ndumberi and Kiambaa-Kawaida                        (Kiambaa constitutency)

    Waing’ere (Githunguri constituency)

    Muthiga, Mukinyi and Kahuguini (Gatundu               constituency)

    Greystone and Ngelelya (Gatanga constituency).

 

“These projects are benefiting an estimated population of 50,000 people in our area of operation,” opines Loise Kamau, AWSB’s Senior Community Development Officer. This, she notes, is progressively assisting in the realization of right to water and sanitation as enshrined in the new Constitution.

 

The projects have utilized a community-based, demand-driven approach where community members were involved in all stages, from planning through to construction. Finally, they were to become fully responsible for the operation and maintenance (O&M) of the projects upon completion. Men and women from the communities formed community-based organizations (CBOs) to maintain all water-related activities, promote social development work and livelihood activities, undertake tariff collection, manage micro-credit schemes, technical operations and monitoring of results. Towards this, the Athi Water Services Board trained CBOs on financial, technical, operational and managerial aspects of these projects at an early stage.

 

The simplicity and transparency of this arrangement has been proven, and social control has already minimized misuse. In addition, water fees are directly linked to actual costs for water provision and have been discussed with and approved by community organizations. Under this lean management arrangement, users generally pay less because there is no need for the bureaucratic and technical apparatus generally associated with more centralized systems of water supply management.

The project outputs include 8 new boreholes, alongside the development and operationalization of 3 existing boreholes; construction of 11 water tanks with a combined storage capacity of 940m3, and construction of 35 water kiosks.

 

Improving rural sanitation facilities

 

VIP Toilets under CPC

 

Under the CPC cycle, the Board has instituted measures aimed at addressing sanitation needs in these areas by increasing water-borne sewage solutions to rural populations through on-site systems such as VIP Toilets, UDDT toilets and other appropriate technology.

Against this backdrop, the Board has constructed VIP latrines in learning institutions within its area of jurisdiction. At the same time 40 dilapidated toilets have been rehabilitated. Approximately 5000 pupils in 10 public schools have benefited.

Global Partnership on Output-Based Aid (GPOBA)

 

GPOBA stands for the Global Partnership on Output-Based Aid (GPOBA), which is a partnership of donors and international organizations working together to support output-based aid (OBA) approaches.

 

GPOBA’s mandate is to fund, design, demonstrate, and document OBA approaches to improve delivery of basic infrastructure and social services to the poor in developing countries. The Board has so far implemented 8 projects under GPOBA pilot project.

 

These are:

 

  Kiamumbi      • Mataara        • Karweti

 

  Gitaru             • Kamandura  • Kamirithu

  Kinoo             • Karanjee

 

The majority of these projects have already completed loan repayment and some have applied for a second loan to expand their projects. The programme has now been scaled up under the tag name “Maji ni maisha” and more projects have continued to access financing.

 

Sanitation in schools

 

AWSB has supported and continues to support the improvement of sanitation facilities for learning institutions in the rural sector. Many institutions have benefitted through various programmes implemented by the Board. Under the Water & Sanitation Services Improvement Programme (WaSSIP), a total of ten schools which had dilapidated facilities have benefitted through the  construction of toilet blocks comprising five units for boys, five for girls and two for the physically challenged in each school.

 

These institutions are Kiambogo Secondary (Kijabe), Githirioni Primary (Lari), Utugi secondary (Kinale Lari), Kirasha Primary (Kamae Lari), Gathangari primary (Githunguri), Rubiro (Thika East), Ndundu Primary, Kiawandiga Primary and Wamitaa primary (all in Gatundu) and Ndunyu Chege (Gatanga).

A further 3 schools have benefitted through the Kenya Water and Sanitation Programme (KWSP)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ecological sanitation

 

Under ecological sanitation, the Board is implementing the Urine Dehydrating Dry Toilets (UDDT) project supported by GIZ and financed through the Water Services Trust Fund. The project targets to construct a total of 52 units. Most of these will be one-door units constructed at the household level, and a few two door units for selected institutions. Already, 17 units have been completed and are in use in Ngelelya, Gatuanyaga, Kamae and Kinale areas. The rest are on-going.

The role of AWSB in the project include resource mobilization; identification of beneficiary community-based organisations; mobilization and sensitization of communities in selected areas; guiding the community-led process of site selection, identification of local artisans, mobilization of community contribution and identification of local suppliers of materials; training of artisans, as well as monitoring and evaluation during the implementation and post –implementation stages.

 

A double door UDDT facility under construction at Utugi Secondary in Kinale and a single door unit in Ngelelya.

 

 

 

 

 

                                     

 

 

 

 

 

 

On going community projects

 

Currently there are seven community projects under the CPC programme in various stages of implementation. Expected outputs include new boreholes, water storage tanks, laying of distribution lines, as well as construction of water kiosks and VIP latrines. On completion, these projects will serve a further 35,000 people in AWSB area of jurisdiction.

Water companies

 

AWSB has licensed 12 water service providers ( WSPs) within its jurisdiction. Among these, four are rural-based and hence provide water and sanitation services to rural residents on behalf of AWSB. These include Gatundu, Githunguri, Karemenu and Gatanga.

Some urban WSPs also serve a large percentage of the rural population. These include Limuru, Kikuyu, Karuri, Kiambu, Ruiru, Juja and Thika.

All these WSPs are supported by AWSB to improve and expand their services to all residents within their contracted areas. AWSB has just finalized a Masterplan for water and sewerage for Nairobi and satellite towns, so as to realize attainment of the aspirations of Vision 2030.

 

Future plans

 

AWSB is committed to ensuring a progressive realization of the right to safe water for every citizen as enshrined in the Constitution. To achieve this, the Board is using the Water Service Boards Investment Tool (WaSBIT) to identify underserved areas and target them for financing through the CPC programme and other funding models. Using the poverty index, population density, water and sanitation coverage, the system has assigned a priority index for every sub-location as below:

Naturally, sub-locations with higher priority index are needier as far as investments are concerned.

The same tool is being used to update data on areas where projects have been recently completed, making it easy for the board to measure its progress over the years.

Corporate social responsibility

 

AWSB continues to partner with communities and WSPs within our area of jurisdiction in various activities as part of our CSR. These include but are not limited to:

 

• Tree planting     • Environmental cleanup campaigns• Donation of plastic water tanks to public institutions

 

Majority of AWSB staff are members of the young Water Professionals Organisation that has recently been formed to train and mentor young people in schools to prepare them to become water professionals in future.

 

 

AWSB to Explore New Water Sources under Master Plan*

A

 new master plan launched by the Kenyan government through the Athi Water Services Board in partnership with utilities and donors calls for an intensified search for alternative water sources to meet rising demand in the rapidly expanding city of Nairobi and adjacent towns.

 

The master plan acknowledges a water supply shortfall that threatens industrial progress and human health in the Kenyan capital.

 

“Investment in Water Supply has lagged behind since 1994 and demand now outstrips supply,” Eng. David Stower, Permanent Secretary (PS) in the Ministry of Water and Irrigation told a stakeholders’ consultative forum held on August 29, 2011 at a Nairobi hotel. Development of new water sources, the PS added is a strategic venture that is in line with the government’s vision of positioning Nairobi to become a hub for investment and industrial activity in the region with a basic and reliable water supply and sewerage facilities, solid waste collection and disposal facilities and adequate disposal and transport infrastructure.

 

“As you are aware, Kenya is classified by the UN as a chronically water scarce country. The current level of water resources is low at only 15%,” Stower reminded the delegates, adding that the Ministry of Water and Natural Resources had earmarked and allocated resources for the construction of 25 large dams, slated for completion by 2015, to support irrigation projects and control flooding in several parts of the country.

 

The government is aware of rising population and the corresponding demand for the availability of resources, and the PS is calling on the private sector to chip in and assist in addressing the crisis.

 

The Nairobi water supply master plan was developed by the Athi Water Services Board with funding from the World Bank and the French Development Agency (AFD). It details strategies to meet universal water supply targets for Nairobi and 13 satellite towns by 2035.

 

Nairobi has been targeted owing to its crucial role as an important centre for trade, commerce and regional integration in the Eastern African region. According to Eng. Malaquen Milgo, Nairobi metropolitan area contributes 50 per cent of the national GDP, in realization of which the government of Kenya has assigned a high political priority to addressing the chronic water supply problems facing the city and its satellite towns.

 

The preliminary master plan report notes that current trends in infrastructure development have not matched population growth and housing density in the city. Consequently, infrastructure is experiencing low pressure in the network, leakage in distribution reticulation, deteriorating status of pipes, challenges in tracking of illegal connections, lack of adequate coverage of consumers, and vandalism of controls at appurtenances.

“The city and its satellite towns still face large water supply deficits, which have been magnified during the past two years of drought,” the report notes.

 

Cited as part of the solution is paying greater attention to groundwater development and management. The report notes that ground water is an important emergency source that can be constructed in relatively short time with low initial capital investment.

 

Currently, groundwater contributes 45,000 cubic meters daily to Nairobi’s water supply for both domestic and industrial use, with the potential to grow by 1,000 cubic meters daily by 2035. However, the report notes that its development is largely unplanned and not strictly regulated. For instance, available data suggests that for each well that is registered there may be 2-3 others that are not.

 

In addition, some of the boreholes have high fluoride levels ranging from 5 to 11mg/l, way above the drinking water quality standards set by WHO of 1.5-2.5 mg/l. 

 

The master plan identifies new groundwater sources in Nairobi and adjoining districts that have been tested and proved fit for human consumption. Two, in Kiunyu and Ruiru, are estimated to have a capacity of 64,800 m3/day.Diversion and transfer of rivers in the Central highlands is projected to catalyze development of new reservoirs, according to the plan.  The proposed Northern Collector Phase 1 is meant to divert and transfer Irati, Gigigie and Maragua Rivers while Phase II plans to divert and transfer South Mathioya, Hembe, Githugi and Northern Mathioya rivers. The plan also proposes to construct the Maragua Reservoir whose yield is dependent on cross-basin transfer and varies for different scenarios. Another dam is proposed at Ndarugu, with Chania and Komu rivers transfer.

 

Recycling of wastewater, although expensive, is the other viable option the plan proposes to address water scarcity in Nairobi. Another option is for the indirect use of treated wastewater to recharge aquifers and replenish surface water reservoirs. “Treated or partially-treated waste water can be used for industrial and agricultural purposes, as well as for environmental and recreational use,” said Eng. Malaquen Milgo.

 

Hon. Reuben Ndolo, the Athi Water Services Board Chairman, challenged financiers and utilities to mobilize resources to install 25,000 new connections annually to meet the 2035 target, adding that the Water Master Plan project is vital and its value will be measured by the changes it will bring to the millions of water consumers in Nairobi.

 

“Its impact will be felt in the informal settlement of Nairobi’s metropolitan region, and rural areas within Nairobi,” said the Chairman, reminding stakeholders that this will go on to feed the local economy through the skills and labor from those to be involved in the

 

                           


            

Current Issue: Africa Water & Sanitation & Hygiene March-April 2017 Vol.12 No.2