Denmark has given eight counties a Sh1.5 billion grant to go towards water and sanitation projects.
Water and Sanitation secretary Simon Chelugui said the money — to be disbursed under the Green Growth Employment Programme — will benefit Isiolo, Marsabit, Garissa, Wajir, Mandera, Lamu, Tana River and Turkana counties.
Mr Chelugui signed an agreement with the governors on Wednesday at a Naivasha hotel in which the county bosses committed to restrict use of the funds to the intended projects. Mr Chelugui said that each county will receive Sh70 million for water and sanitation projects, adding that the programme will also support water resources management initiatives and other activities.
The money, channeled through the Water Services Trust Fund (WSTF), includes Sh600 million designated for Turkana county under a the Refugee-Host Community Programme.
“In consultation with the Turkana county government, WSTF has since undertaken several engagements and conducted a call for proposals to identify potential applicants for the grant which is expected to benefit both host and refugee communities in Turkana West Sub-County,” he said. He asked participants to engage in meaningful discussions focusing on the socio-economic status of people living in the frontier counties where water is key to improving their lives.
Turkana governor Josphat Nanok, in a speech read by his deputy Peter Lotethiro, said the poroject should be inclusive.
“We need to make sure that decisions and policies we make are well grounded in research and evidence,” said Mr Nanok. He observed that malnutrition rates in arid and semi-arid land counties pose a big challenge to residents and their leaders, adding that the recent drought and floods had led to a decline in school attendance and high dropout rates.