United NationsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

Kenya (Part 1)

Hon. Martha W. Karua, MP
Minister for Water Resources Management & Development
New York - 30th April 2004
Mr. Chairman,
Halving the proportion of people without access to adequate sanitation by
2015, is one of the commitments, which we agreed to realize at
Johannesburg. However, going with the Secretary-General?s reports, many
countries are not on track towards achieving this target, which is an issue of
concern to many. Over the years, the sector has received little attention and
minimum financial resources, despite its importance. As such, the sector has
been characterized by: -
i) Low coverage in both urban and rural areas resulting in a highlevel
prevalence of preventable and communicable diseases; and
ii) Lack of awareness of the linkages between diseases, poor
sanitation and hygiene.
Mr. Chairman,
Inadequate levels of funding and investment in sanitation are major
constraints toward meeting the set goal and target. In this regard,
considerable investment is required to expand and sustain sanitation and
hygiene services. Financing sanitation requires the participation of all
stakeholders. The investment should be directed towards awareness
creation, behavioral change and tangible investment programmes.
Mr. Chairman,
Schools offer key entry points for promoting hygiene. Needless to add that
women as the primary educators should also be involved in the design,
planning and implementation of sanitation systems. Women and girls are the
most affected by poor sanitation. They play a crucial role in fostering good
hygiene practices; in awareness raising especially among children; and
breaking the link between sanitation and disease.
Appropriate technology is an important aspect for promoting sanitation.
Low cost technologies that take on board locally based interventions should
be promoted. Use of new and innovative sanitation facilities, which are
affordable and easily available locally should be encouraged. Deliberate
efforts should be made by all to ensure that adequate resources are available
to promote showcases of appropriate technologies.
Mr. Chairman,
The Government of Kenya lauds the support of: Water and Sanitation
Programme for Africa, WHO and UNICEF, and invites further support for
sanitation programmes.
Kenya has: -
i) Developed and is currently implementing a national tool on
participatory hygiene and sanitation transformation;
ii) Initiated school sanitation and hygiene programmes to compliment
the government?s free and compulsory education; and
iii) Piloting Ecological Sanitation in two selected districts.
Mr. Chairman,
In conclusion, let me say that we have to do much more than we are
currently doing in order to meet the sanitation targets. I offer three directions
to which focused attention may follow: -
a) We need to consider the various options and innovative ways including
macro and micro financing, cross-subsidy and establishment of
revolving and trust funds among others;
b) Support to the private sector to develop and market environmentally
sound and socially accepted technologies need to be considered; and
c) Community involvement should be encouraged especially in the
promotion of household and community sanitation programmes.
Thank you.