The realignment of the water sector in Kenya with the Constitution of Kenya 2010
In order to realign the water sector with the Constitution of Kenya 2010 (COK 2010) a new Water Policy 2013 and Water Bill 2013 has been prepared. The Bill seeks to repeal the Water Act of 2002 in order to align it to the new Constitution of Kenya (COK 2010). It also takes cognizance of the achievement of the water sector reforms initiated by the Water Act 2002.
In addition the COK 2010 establishes a new system of devolved governance comprising the national and county governments as detailed in Chapter Eleven on Devolved Government. One of the objects of devolution is to give power for self-governance to the people and enhance participation of people in the exercise of the powers of the state and making decisions affecting them. In order to ensure the participation of the people the water Bill 2013 provides for the establishment of Water Resource Users Association for participation by the people in the management of water resources, and the facilitation of consumer groups by the proposed Water Services Regulatory Commission for the provision of water services.
The powers and functions of each level of government are listed in detail in the Fourth Schedule of the COK 2010. The national government will be responsible for national economic policy and planning. With regard to water, the national government will;
• Aggregate county water development plans into a national development plan
• Manage the use of transboundary waters being part of water resources.
• Regulate the use of water resources and water services to ensure gradual
achievement of the right to clean and safe water for all
• Protect the environment and natural resources with a view to establishing a
durable and sustainable system of development, including and in particular, water
protection, securing sufficient residual water, hydraulic engineering and the safety
• Be in charge of national public water works
• Provide capacity building and technical assistance to the counties in respect of
water service provision
On the other hand, the county government will;
• Implement specific national government policies on natural resources and
environmental conservation, including soil and water conservation, and forestry
• develop county public works and services including storm water management
systems in built-up areas; and
• provision of water and sanitation services
The Water Bill of 2013 therefore ensures viability, efficiency, equity, sustainability and expansion of access to, and good governance in provision of, water to both the rural and urban populations as a matter of right, and not just delivery of a service. The water Bill also seeks to improve transparency in the water sector through mandatory provision of adequate information to the public.
John Rao Nyaoro, HSC
Director of Water Resources