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World Bank Supports Water Security and Climate Resiliency for Kenya’s Coastal Communities

Mwache dam will store 70 million cubic metres of water that will benefit residents of Kwale and Mombasa residents. (PIX: Courtesy)

Kwale County will benefit from a KES 18bn (US$ 200mn) World Bank project that will ensure they access clean water, sanitation and income generating activities through sustainable agriculture.

The credit financing, through the International Development Association (IDA) will support the Kenya Coastal Region Water Security and Climate Resilience (KWSCRP) project by constructing the Mwache dam that will store 70 million cubic metres of water that will also benefit Mombasa residents.

“The project will also increase resilience against floods and droughts, address food insecurity and constrained growth throughout the coastal region, ultimately benefitting approximately one million people,” said Gustavo Saltiel, the World Bank’s Task Team Leader for the project.

Saltiel said the project’s emphasis on improving the sustainability of the Mwache catchment will integrate watershed management and conservation actions with the needs of local communities to develop sustainable economic activities as a step towards improving the quality of life for families in the region.

The KWSCR program is currently supporting reforms and devolution in the water sector as well as activities in water resources management, irrigation, and water supply and sanitation.

Kenya’s coastal region is home to 3.3 million people and suffers from drought and lack of rainfall during parts of the year and flooding in the rainy season.

Poor water quality, rising sea-levels and increasing land degradation also affect local communities, which depend heavily on limited water resources for incomes, agriculture, tourism and electricity.

“The availability of clean water is crucial for millions of Kenyans fighting to raise themselves out of poverty. It is a priority for the country under its Vision 2030 and as it seeks to reach the MDGs,” said Diarietou Gaye, the World Bank Country Director for Kenya.

Mr. Gaye said the project will help to reduce health risks posed by water-borne and sanitation-related diseases, and in turn improve the economy and the environment which are factors vital to reducing poverty and achieving shared prosperity.
Water supply in coastal Kenya is insufficient to meet the needs of people and local businesses.

This is especially true in Mombasa which accounts for half of Kenya’s coastal demand for water. Construction of the Mwache Dam will address the significant shortage of bulk water supply to Mombasa and other coastal towns.

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