Family Bank, Aqua €2.9 million agreement boost informal settlements water access

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  • Family Bank has partnered with Aqua for All worth KShs350 million (€2.9 million) for two years to facilitate increased lending to medium and small-scale water enterprises throughout Kenya
  • Aqua for All, which focuses on providing innovative financing for water and sanitation projects, has set its sights on Communal-Centred Water Service Providers
  • Family Bank’s MajiPlus lending facility will receive the funds, which offers adaptable financial solutions for microbusinesses, individuals, water service providers, and small and medium-sized businesses

Family Bank has partnered with the non-profit, Aqua for All, for two years to facilitate increased lending to medium and small-scale water enterprises throughout Kenya.

These KES 350 million (€2.9 million) funding will enable the enterprise to provide clean drinking water in low-income areas by installing piping systems or water kiosks.

Together with Family Bank, the organisation Aqua for All, which focuses on providing innovative financing for water and sanitation projects, has set its sights on Communal-Centred Water Service Providers to enhance access to clean, safe water for more than 280,000 people.

Community-Based Water Service Providers are typically organised as community-based organisations, Self-Help Groups, Societies, Cooperatives, Trusts, Associations, Sole Proprietors, Non-Governmental organisations and Faith-Based Social Projects.

During her remarks at the signing event, Family Bank CEO Rebecca Mbithi recognised that accessing affordable finance at affordable rates is an issue in the water and sanitation industry.

“As a Bank, we are committed to assisting scale up the financial and operational performance of Providers of water services, and finance programmes have centred their attention on enhancing the sanitation services and water supply available to low-income households. This is part of our mission to help improve the world’s water supply and sanitation.”

Together with Aqua for All, we will be able to broaden our financing pool for service providers and provide Community-Based Water Service Providers with access to loans at reasonable interest rates, providing piped and point services in populations that are unserved or underserved. This will allow us to meet better the needs of the populations that are not currently receiving adequate water service,” she said.

The sixth Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) set forth by the United Nations (UN) is titled “Ensuring that all people have the right to use nontoxic and viable management of water and sanitation by the year 2030.”

However, the United Nations states that over two billion people worldwide cannot access clean water and sanitation.

“We see Kenya as a potentially lucrative market for investments in water and sanitation systems. Nevertheless, we must quicken our pace to reach the sixth Sustainable Development Goal.

To achieve this, it is necessary to provide support for scalable solutions and facilitate access to finance by freeing up private investments. Our collaboration with Family Bank is a significant step toward our overarching goal of ensuring that all people in the United States have sustainable access to clean water and sanitation facilities.

We can contribute to making the sanitation and water sector in Kenya more viable and inclusive by assisting community-based service providers,” stated Josien Sluijs, the Managing Director of Aqua for All.

Shofco water vending machine in Mukuru kwa Njenga, give access to clean, safe drinking water. [Photo/trust.org]
Because of this relationship, Family Bank’s MajiPlus lending facility, which offers adaptable financial solutions for microbusinesses, individuals, water service providers, and small and medium-sized businesses, will receive support.

In addition to this, Family Bank will give its customers training materials on how to provide finance for climate-resilient projects in the water, sanitation, and hygiene sector.

Pim van der Male, First Secretary for Food Security and Water at the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, applauded the alliance. At the same time, he was present at the signing ceremony.

“For many years, the Dutch government has funded Aqua for All because it believes in Aqua for All’s holistic strategy to bridging service and financial gaps to speed access to safe water and good sanitation for all.”

I am pleased to note that the collaboration between Family Bank and Aqua for All is an example of this.

This cooperation will help to achieve SDG 6 and assist Water, Sanitation and Hygiene( WASH) growth in the country, particularly at the grassroots level, by mobilising private capital to invest in WASH. Furthermore, this alliance will help Kenya’s Vision 2030 aim of achieving faster and inclusive economic growth and realising universal access to water services.” he stated

Existing and future Community Water Projects in Kenya will receive financing through the bank’s 93 branches spread across 37 counties.

Representatives from water.org, the World Bank, the African Guarantee Fund, Davis and Shirtliff, and other Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene Sector (WASH) stakeholders and partners were present.

AQUA FOR ALL

Aqua for All is primarily active in Asia and Africa.

Over the past two decades, we have endeavoured to foster globally innovative, sustainable, and inclusive sanitation and water industry.

We believe scalable solutions, innovation, and private and public investments are necessary to close the service and financial gap to accomplish SDG 6: Water and sanitation for everyone.

We use funds to expedite water and sanitation access for low-income homes and institutions. Without disrupting the market, we assist innovations and scale up businesses until they are investment-ready. In addition, we use our finances to mobilise public and private money to enhance water and sanitation initiatives.

MajiPlus

MajiPlus is an adaptable system suitable for individuals, micro-businesses, SMBs, and municipal water utilities. Rainwater harvesting, water storage, water distribution, borehole construction and dressing, home and Commercial biogas plants’ installation, reticulation, and sewerage system improvements are also addressed.

Read: Water shortage threatens endangered species in Africa

Maingi Gichuku is passionate about helping African businesses grow by offering technology solutions. With a BSC in Zoology and biochemistry, Gichuku yearns for an Africa that can find solutions to its challenges. My drive is to see an economically dynamic Africa and embrace its populations by creating opportunities cutting across the social and economic strata.

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