Coronavirus – Kenya: EU gives front line support to water and sanitation provision in COVID-19 hotspots

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The EU  together with Sweden, Finland and Denmark are mobilising a total of Ksh 211 million (EUR 1.8 million) of support to enhance access to water in public places, market centres, health institutions, police stations, military barracks and prisons. This response will target 119 000 people in COVID-19 hotspots and potential hotspots in 25 counties.

EU Ambassador to Kenya, Simon Mordue said: “The EU and its Member States are working hard towards reorienting development funding to areas where it is critically needed in response to this pandemic. This is one quick win, as we seek to mobilise more resources to this end. This response targets nearly 120,000 people from areas that don’t have access to lifesaving water and handwashing facilities.”

Concretely, the action will focus on the construction of communal handwashing facilities in strategic areas, the supply of soap for distribution with handwashing tanks, and sanitation and hygiene promotion through engagement with the Public Health Officers and Community Health Workers and Volunteers. A priority area for engagement will be low-income areas that so far have not benefited from these facilities. These were selected together with the Water Services Providers and the County Public Health Offices based on a mapping of urban low-income areas and their level of water and sanitation access.

The programme will last for six months up to September 2020 and is expected to:

1. Improve access to water and sanitation services as a critical success driver in combating COVID-19 pandemic

2. Reduce COVID 19 disease incidence and the associated socio-economic impact in the targeted four counties.

Denmark is providing Ksh 150 million, Finland and Sweden Ksh 33 million, and the EU Ksh 28 million. These funds will be channelled through the Government of Kenya, which is contributing Ksh 200 million. The implementers will include Water Works Development Agencies, County Governments and their Water Services Providers, Public Health Officers, Community Health Workers, Volunteers/Social Animators, Non-Governmental Organizations, and Community Based Organizations.

The EU institutions’ contribution to this action is part of the EUR 300 million of support that the EU has mobilised in support the Government of Kenya’s efforts to fight COVID-19. On 7 April the EU institutions announced a EUR 15 billion package to help developing countries tackle the pandemic.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of EU Delegation to Kenya.

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