Development Connect provides Public Private Partnership and Water and Sanitation advisory services to SNV (Netherlands Development Organisation) in Kenya. Within the framework of the Kenya Market Trust Fund and the “Climate Resilience Water Services (CREWS)” program Development Connect provides team leader, technical expertise, working with the national SNV team to strengthen Kenya’s water sector through the development of concept notes outlining a range of services delivery and business models and performance based contracts for water services in rural and peri-urban areas. The key objective of the CREWS programme (April 2016 – December 2018) is to scale up sustainable and climate resilience water services delivery models in at least 15 counties.

There is an increased move towards decentralization and devolution of responsibilities to local levels of government, the counties. At the same time the counties experience a shortage of human and financial resources to fulfill their obligations in water services delivery. Counties need to adopt pro-poor policies and the government needs to put in place regulatory regimes that effectively and consistently coordinate and oversee the achievement of poverty alleviation targets, whether delivery is undertaken by the public or the private sector. It is the responsibility of the government and counties, in close consultations with stakeholders, to define these targets, make necessary regulatory changes, and to build them into contracts with appropriate incentives for private operators and other non-state providers to meet targets and enforceable penalties for failure of doing so.

For rural water supply, the known “approach” is community mobilization for construction and operational & maintenance (O&M) of water supply schemes through Water User Associations (WUAs). WUAs, however, often lack the commercial orientation required to ensure their financial and commercial sustainability. This is further compounded by a lack of proper functional structures, data and poor water infrastructure e.g. water meters and adequate billing systems etc.

Private sector participation and Commercial Service Delivery Models/Public Private Partnership Models have the potential to improve the provision of infrastructure and water services. However, for that to happen, some constraints, which are outlined in a document developed by Development Connect, in existing policies, regulations and capacity challenges of both the national government, countries and the (local) private sector to effectively use PPPs should be addressed.

So far, a report, describing in depth four Commercial Service Delivery models used for rural water systems namely the Private Operator Model, Delegated Management Model, Operation and Maintenance, and Lease Operator Model has been developed to help counties understand the roles and responsibilities, key constraints, revenue flows, key risk and mitigation issues of each of model. Diagrams outlining different contractual arrangements are developed, and cases from previous/ongoing initiatives (Wandiege, Kanyadhiang, Kakamega, Kisumu) were outlined to learn from.

Further, a Capacity Assessment Guideline (with interview matrices) for Sustainable Service Delivery and Partnership(s) Development was drafted to support counties with outlining the required capacities for the uptake of the service delivery models generated by county projects, focusing on constraints for scaling up. This includes for example also the capacity to identify new private sector engagement opportunities, and to identify priority entry points where functional and technical capacities need to be developed.

A (research) report is currently drafted which frames the context about Africa reflecting on the Climate Change Vulnerability Index, Climate Change impacts on Water Supply and Quality, Water Access and Impact on National Security. It further describes Africa’s Water Vision 2015, and the Rural Water Supply situation in Africa providing an analysis of Population Growth and Rural-Urban migration, the Water and Sanitation coverage, Health, Economic Development and Poverty.

Service Delivery in the African Water Sector, the lack of sector coordination, weak enabling environment, overstretched service providers and climate change adaptation capacity are discussed in detail, after which the importance of Pro-poor Service Delivery through Partnerships is highlighted.

Cases and learnings from Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania, Ethiopia, South Africa, Angola and Burkina Faso, and Senegal are captured and compared, and an overview of key conclusions for the Kenyan government is provided.

Please contact us if you like to know more.