A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has been signed between the Kenya Red Cross Society (KRCS) and the Water Service Trust Fund (WSTF), officiating a partnership worth Ksh 150 million that seek to expand access to water and mitigate the ongoing drought that has affected 23 counties. The event that took place on 7 March 2017 at Radisson Blue Hotel in Nairobi will see KRCS implement a series of water projects on behalf of WSTF, a department under the Ministry of Water and Irrigation, in partnership with Danida who are the project donors.
Present at the signing ceremony was the Cabinet Secretary for Water and Irrigation Hon. Eugene Wamalwa, Danish Minister for Cooperation Ulla Tornaes, KRCS Secretary General Dr. Abbas Gullet, WSTF Chairman Hon. Musikari Kombo, WSTF Chief Executive Officer Ismail Shaiye and KRCS Head of Water and Sanitation Ayaz Manji.
“Proud to announce Danish first emergency support to the drought in Kenya,” said Ulla Tornaes in her opening remarks.
Areas of cooperation include: Access to clean water and sanitation services - both Urban and Rural in Nature as well as Emergency and Developmental in Nature; Building Capacity and Systems to manage and protect the water catchments and Water resource management; Capacity development of staff of both parties and their respective line partners, as well as local beneficiary communities. This also includes knowledge management and information sharing.
All partners are expected to jointly mobilise and use the wide human, physical and financial resources available, increase the scale and focus of their technical support and improve the coordination capacity of all stakeholders.
"We want to continue partnering with the Kenya Red Cross Society and assure them of the Ministry’s support especially during this drought period. I also urge the County Governments to realign resources and funds to mitigate the effects of drought," said Hon. Wamalwa.
On his part, Dr. Gullet thanked the ministry of water and irrigation, and the Danish government for the trust they had in Kenya Red Cross Society, noting “the partnership will go a long way in mitigating the effects of drought.”
“We are undertaking cash transfers, livestock destocking, distribution of food and non food items, and rehabilitation of water sources in drought affected areas. This funding is timely due to the pressing water needs in the drought affected counties," added Dr. Gullet.
KRCS has been active in the water sector focusing on improving equitable access to safe, sustainable and affordable water, as well as adequate sanitation and hygiene education. The society has already rehabilitated several boreholes in the drought stricken counties, where more than 50 boreholes are earmarked for rehabilitation.
The Ksh 150 million is seen as a great boost in expanding water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) projects across the country.
The MoU lays out a framework for collaboration between the parties to develop, promote and strengthen joint actions and collaboration on improved access to water and sanitation in the country.