National Bank of Kenya (NBK) has received $10 million from WaterEquity investment for onward lending to public and private water utility companies
The NBK, WaterEquity partnership will also benefit micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) by boosting the KSh 5 Billion NBK Majikonnect programme
- NBK’s collaboration with WaterEquity is also expected to positively and significantly impact the country’s access to water, sanitation, and hygiene services and products
National Bank of Kenya (NBK) has partnered WaterEquity, a global impact investor, for onward lending to public and private water utility companies.
The NBK, WaterEquity partnership will also benefit micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) by boosting the KSh 5 Billion NBK Majikonnect programme up to an additional USD 10 million.
Acting NBK Managing Director Peter Kioko reaffirmed the bank’s commitment to supporting last mile connectivity in the water sector through increased access to financing.
He described WaterEquity as an entity intentionally focused on solving the global water crisis.
Kioko said the investment for onward lending would positively and significantly impact access to water, sanitation, and hygiene services and products across the country.
“Our partnership accentuates our focus on attaining Sustainable Development Goal 6 (SDG6) – improving all access to clean and safe drinking water. Water remains a fundamental enabler for health, education, energy, and agriculture,” Kioko said.
Kioko added that the new partnership builds on the bank’s foundational work with their WASH-sector anchor partners, Aqua for All in establishing the Majikonnect programme last year.
“NBK will continue to forge transformative partnerships to improve access to water services,” Kioko added.
Commenting on the same, WaterEquity Chief Investment Officer John Moyer said that lack of financing prevents millions of people worldwide from securing access to safe water and sanitation infrastructure.
He said that WaterEquity believes that capital markets offer the best solution to increase access to water and sanitation at a large scale.
“And we’re very pleased to continue our support for expanded access in Kenya through our investment in NBK, particularly given the bank’s tremendous commitment to financing the sector,” he added.
As referenced from the Water Services Regulatory Board (WASREB) impact report 14-2020/2021, water coverage in regulated areas in Kenya stands at 60 per cent, whilst sewerage coverage stands at 16 per cent.
As referenced from the UN World Water Development Report 2021, it is estimated that achieving universal access to safe drinking water, sanitation, and hygiene SDG Targets in 140 low- and middle-income countries would cost approximately US$1.7 trillion from 2016 to 2030, or US$114 billion per year.
Such investments’ benefit-cost ratio (BCR) has been shown to provide a significant positive economic return in most regions. Economic returns on hygiene are even higher, as they can greatly improve health outcomes in many cases with little need for additional expensive infrastructure.
NBK has specialised in providing timely and efficient financial services to clients through enhanced saving plans and affordable quality credit products, thus empowering them economically and socially.
In a related story, MSMEs in Kenya will now have access to global markets, mainly the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Asia. This follows a trade partnership deal that was signed between NBK and the leading global logistics provider DP World.
The deal offers e-commerce services to Kenyan traders to access goods from across the globe but mainly UAE and Asia via DUBUY.COM.
DUBUY.COM is an E-commerce platform focusing on business-to-business import and export.
Through the partnership, NBK will offer financial solutions to buyers and sellers from Kenya while providing an avenue for them to interact and network with other traders.
At the time, the then Managing Director of NBK Paul Russo noted that the partnership offers the best value to their MSME customers.
According to Russo, the deal will also allow the bank’s MSME customers to effectively engage in commercial trading links with international markets, especially the UAE.
“It spells out favourable terms for customers to access international markets while simultaneously fulfilling our desire to satisfy our customers by meeting their needs for their own convenience, especially during this pandemic period,” said Russo.
He further noted that NBK is constantly seeking strategic partnerships similar to the one with Dubuy.com, to ensure they provide value-enhancing initiatives that will improve the level of service and provide real value to their respective customers.