Sidian Bank and Aqua for All, through the Covid-19 WASH loans, have been providing support in bridging the service and financial gaps in the water, health and sanitation sector.
The solution, a Covid-19 Response (WASH) loan facility, targets MSME’s in the water and sanitization value chain sector.
The aim of the facility is to scale up innovative solutions for water service providers through short-term financing facilities in working capital, asset and project finance.
According to one of the loan beneficiaries, Arahuka Distributors Limited a retailer based in Kangemi, the loan enabled him to purchase water tanks in large quantities and sell to his clients at a discount to ensure that the community has enough water reservoirs.
With a population of 50 million, 32 per cent of Kenyans rely on unimproved water sources, such as ponds, shallow wells and rivers, while 48 per cent of Kenyans lack access to basic sanitation solutions. These challenges are especially evident in rural areas and urban dwellings where people are often unable to connect to piped water infrastructure.
“Through the Covid-19 Wash Loan facility, the Bank is keen to create social and economic impact to households and communities in Kenya by providing access to affordable credit towards ensuring that the final beneficiaries have easy access to clean and safe water and affordable sanitation solutions,” says Loise Mwangi, Head of Branch Banking at Sidian Bank.
“At Sidian Bank, we are passionate about supporting community-based organizations and small water service providers to expand their reach to many beneficiaries to improve access to water and sanitation services to households and communities during the COVID-19 crisis.”
In rural Kenya, the average total coping cost for an unreliable or distant water supply is approximately $38 (Ksh4,000) per month. This is in comparison, the average water bill of a typical household in Nairobi that is connected to a piped system is only $4.46 (Ksh500) per month.
This comparison highlights the economic burdens that often fall more heavily on unconnected rural customers than on households with piped connections.
However, there are many areas where piped water connections do not produce a reliable, constant flow of water. Thus, solutions like borehole wells and rainwater harvesting tanks are also needed in urban and peri-urban areas
Through the loan facility, Arahuka Distributors business growth has shot up by 30 per cent and the success rate has led him to refer other business owners to take up the Water, Health and Sanitation Loan.