Local solution that won the WaterFund two consecutive UN awards
For the second time in a row, a local solution to sanitation problems and the continuing scarcity of clean water in urban Kenya has garnered global admiration.
The program, which began six years ago and involves the construction and modernization of toilets and the construction of small-scale decentralized facilities to treat human waste from dry and wet toilets through mechanical and biological treatment, has earned WaterFund a other world price.
WaterFund is now the recipient of the prestigious 2021 United Nations Civil Service Awards, after its results-based aid program was selected as one of the laureates in the category “Improving the effectiveness of public institutions to achieve ODD ”.
Scaling Up Basic Sanitation for the Urban Poor (UBSUP), implemented by WaterFund, was among the top 10 institutions at the prestigious 2019 annual United Nations Civil Service Award.
The 2021 United Nations Civil Service Awards Ceremony took place in Dubai, United Arab Emirates on December 18, 2021 under the theme “Innovating the Public Service of the Future: New Models of Government for a New era to achieve sustainable development goals ”.
It came out on top in the “Provide inclusive and equitable service leaving no one behind” category. This award now places UBSUP in a better position for increased donor funding.
The program grants homeowners a subsidy of Sh20,000 for new toilets and Sh15,000 for rehabilitated toilets in urban areas where the poor live.
Ambassador Mary Khimulu, Chair of the WaterFund Board of Directors, was present to receive the award on behalf of WaterFund.
The Kenyan delegation included Cabinet Secretaries Margaret Kobia (Public Services and Gender) and Joe Mucheru (ICT) and Sidian Bank, one of WaterFund’s sponsors, was represented by Loice Mwangi, branch manager of the bank.
The United Nations Civil Service Award is the most prestigious international recognition of excellence in public service.
It rewards the creative achievements and contributions of public service institutions that lead to a more efficient and responsive public administration in countries around the world.
Through an annual competition, the United Nations Civil Service Awards promote the role, professionalism and visibility of the public service.
United Nations Civil Service Day aims to celebrate the value and virtue of public service to the community; highlight the contribution of the public service in the development process; recognize the work of public servants and encourage young people to pursue careers in the public sector.
Since the first awards ceremony in 2003, the United Nations has received an increasing number of nominations from all over the world.
While the announcement of the 2021 winners was slated for June, the United Nations Civil Service (UNPSA) awards ceremony has been postponed until December 2021 in the United Arab Emirates due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The praise for Water Fund came for its construction of a faecal sludge treatment facility where human wastes are turned into cooking pellets and clean water from the treatment released into rivers which earned Water Fund the prestigious award. . Called DTF (Decentralized Treatment Installation), the system treats faecal sludge from latrines and septic tanks at a decentralized level.
“The DTF is a modular installation of standard design capable of handling up to 23 m3 per day. It includes six modules that provide biological anaerobic treatment and work by gravity (without input of energy or chemicals), ”said Shaiye.
Building a DTF requires around half an acre of land and uses around 10 million shillings, making it an innovative idea for solving sanitation and sewage issues in areas without a conventional sewage system.
Shaiye said UBSUP’s goals are to provide sustainable sanitation by providing better toilets and clean water. “About 250,000 people have since been reached out of the 400,000 targeted,” he said.
WaterFund through 20 water service providers across the country is implementing the program which includes building cheap and affordable sewage systems that serve between 10,000 and 30,000 residents in small towns.
The ceremony was co-hosted by the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA) through its Division for Public Institutions and Digital Government (DPIDG) and the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority and the United Arab Emirates Government Digital Government (TDRA). Emirates.
Previous UNPSA Kenya winners are the Agricultural Sector Development Support Program in 2018 and the Huduma Kenya Program under the Ministry of Civil Service, Youth and Gender Equality in 2015.
Each year, UNDESA launches calls for proposals seeking the submission of projects that promote and support innovation and excellence in the public service.
The UNPSA 2019 were awarded to public institutions that have distinguished themselves in various categories.
The United Nations Civil Service Award (UNPSA) promotes and rewards innovation and excellence in public service in support of the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals and the principle of leaving no one behind.
The award is organized by the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA).
The importance of this award is to promote the role, professionalism and visibility of the public service for the achievement of the 2030 Agenda.
The Water Sector Trust (WaterFund) implemented the Kenya Results Based Water and Sanitation Fund (OBA) for Low Income Areas (“the Project”) .
The project encourages Kenya’s water service providers (WSPs) to expand water and sanitation services to low-income areas using commercial loans from national lenders on market terms.
The program is supported by the World Bank, with funds from the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA). At the local level, water service providers have benefited from loans from Sidian Bank, Family Bank and Co-operative Bank. Water Service Providers (WSPs) have also received technical assistance to support the preparation and implementation of subprojects, including the development of bankable proposals to secure commercial loans.
The project provided a grant of 1.3 billion shillings (US $ 11.10 million to the Government of Kenya (GoK), which was signed on September 5, 2014. A subsidiary agreement was signed between GoK and WaterFund for implement the project.
The initiative has proven to be cost effective, with a per capita cost of less than $ 50, including the construction of 15,490 toilets and more than seven decentralized treatment facilities. Water Trust CEO Ismail Shaiye said the grant can only be paid after homeowners and homeowners have completed the toilets and they meet given standards.