Kenya—Western Kenya Water Project (WKWP)

Client: U.S. Agency for International Development

Duration: 2022-2027

Region: Sub-Saharan Africa

Country: Kenya

Solutions: Environment

The counties of Western Kenyan share common water sector challenges, including fragmented and weak sector governance; inadequate infrastructure; the lack of models, tools, and capacity to better manage and operate large and small water systems; and a weak ability to collaborate and partner as needed for countywide, locally led sustainable service solutions. These challenges have resulted in the chronic failure of community-managed water systems; financial and operational inefficiencies among urban and rural utilities; and the limited ability of water resource institutions and county governments to respond to water quality issues and extended dry spells.

The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)-funded Western Kenya Water Project (WKWP) supports decentralized county governments to deliver the inclusive and sustainable services that strengthen water security. WKWP will reach 850,000 Kenyans with basic and improved water services while enjoying the security of more effective water resource management. WKWP will mobilize $15 million in new sector financing through the public and private sectors to support the sustainability of improvements.

WKWP works across eight counties in Western Kenya (Bungoma, Busia, Homa Bay, Kakamega, Kisii, Kisumu, Migori, and Siaya) and with Lake Victoria North and South Basins. Our approach—dubbed Kenya Inatimiza (Kenya Delivers)—facilitates the co-creation and co-design of solutions with each of the counties. WKWP’s all-Kenyan team draws on a pool of Kenyan resource partners and Kenyan sub-contractor CESPAD (a new partner to USAID) to create bespoke packages of technical assistance and capacity-building, tailored to each county’s baseline needs, priorities, and opportunities. Supporting WKWP activities are a Solution Fund, a construction budget, and an emphasis on data and digital interventions for better decision-making and efficiencies.

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Sample Activities

  • Operationalize, refine, and scale rural water service delivery models that can be locally operated and maintained.
  • Strengthen the tools and capacity of the Water Resources Authority to better allocate and protect the region’s water resources in light of climate change—working in partnership with communities, utilities, and the private sector.
  • Facilitate corporate governance improvements in urban utilities, while building their ability to attract and retain women in the workforce.
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