Around the world, hundreds of thousands of people die each year from preventable water-related diseases and in communities where water is not available, people often spend hours walking to collect it, limiting their ability to work. In rural Kenya, half the population lacks access to safe drinking water, which poses significant health and economic costs. The Government of Kenya has committed to achieving universal access to clean and safe drinking water, but it lacked the resources to fully invest in the necessary infrastructure and local banks hesitated to finance such projects. And Kenyan banks have historically shied away from the water sector due to borrowers’ lack of collateral and borrowing experience.
Solution and Impact
A 50 percent U.S. loan guaranty to HFC Bank, a local financial institution is helping reduce reliance on central government transfers and donors and mobilize more private financing to build more infrastructure in the rural village of Embu.
HFC provided a $781,000 loan to the Embu Water and Sanitation Company, which used the financing to install 17 kilometers of new pipe, which significantly improved the water supply for 100 schools, 15 clinics and 50,000 people in the community.
“Before the connection we would use untreated water,” said Musyoka Moshe, the Principal at the local Good Samaritan Nyangwa Boys School. “Boys were always out looking for water, which caused hygiene problems. Today, no one is sick and water is reliable.”