Monday, 29 May 2017
 
 

Since 1999, Kenya has undertaken various reforms in the water sector. Prior to these reforms, the standard of water and sanitation services was constantly declining. This was mainly because water management was unprofessional and centralized, the infrastructure was poorly maintained, and tariffs were kept too low owing to political influence. Besides, the policies in the sector failed to cater for the poor in service provision leaving them to depend on informal, unregulated services, often provided by cartels using unlawful practices.

The National Policy on Water Resources Management and Development of Sessional Paper No. 1 of 1999 and the Water Act of 2002 spearheaded the water sector reforms in Kenya.

The main objectives of the National Water Policy of 1999 were:
Preservation, conservation and protection of available water resources and allocation in a sustainable, rational and economical way;
Supply of good quality water in sufficient quantities to meet various needs and alleviate poverty while ensuring safe disposal of waste water and environment protection;
Establish an efficient and effective institutional framework to guide development and management of the water sector;
Develop sustainable financing system for effective water resources management, water supply and sanitation development.

Kenya’s intention to reform the water sector in light of the problems faced and the lessons learnt paved the way for the Sector Wide Approach (SWAp). The Water Act of 2002 is currently the main piece of legislation for the regulation of the sector. All policies, regulations and bylaws, directives and administrative actions by the water ministry and strategic plans and all activities by water sector institutions should be undertaken within the provisions of the Water Act of 2002.