KCB subsidiary, National Bank, has secured about Kes1.2 billion in financing to facilitate access to clean and safe water across the country.
The lender has entered into a partnership with global asset manager WaterEquity to enhance financing to public and private water utility companies and micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) boosting the Kes5 billion NBK Majikonnect programme up to an additional US$10 million (about Kes1.2 billion).
Acting NBK Managing Director Peter Kioko reaffirmed the bank’s commitment to supporting last mile connectivity in the water sector through increased access to financing.
“We are excited to partner with WaterEquity, who are intentionally focused on solving the global water crisis. NBK’s collaboration with WaterEquity will positively and significantly impact access to water, sanitation, and hygiene services and products across the country.
“Our partnership accentuates our focus on attaining Sustainable Development Goal 6 (SDG6) – improving access to clean and safe drinking water for all. Water remains a fundamental enabler for health, education, energy, and agriculture,” Mr Kioko said.
“This new partnership builds on our foundational work with our WASH-sector anchor partners, Aqua for All in establishing the Majikonnect programme last year. NBK will continue to forge transformative partnerships to improve access to water services,” Mr Kioko added.
“Lack of financing prevents millions of people worldwide from securing access to safe water and sanitation infrastructure,” said WaterEquity Chief Investment Officer John Moyer.
“At WaterEquity, we believe that capital markets offer the best solution to increase access to water and sanitation at a large scale. And we’re very pleased to continue our support for expanded access in Kenya through our investment in NBK, particularly given the bank’s tremendous commitment to financing the sector,” he added.
According to the Water Services Regulatory Board (WASREB) impact report 14-2020/2021, water coverage in regulated areas in Kenya stands at 60 percent, whilst sewerage coverage stands at 16 percent.
UN World Water Development Report 2021 estimates that achieving universal access to safe drinking water, sanitation, and hygiene SDG Targets in 140 low- and middle-income countries would cost approximately US$1.7 trillion from 2016 to 2030, or US$114 billion per year.
The benefit-cost ratio (BCR) of such investments has been shown to provide a significant positive economic return in most regions.
Economic returns on hygiene are even higher, as they can greatly improve health outcomes in many cases with little need for additional expensive infrastructure.