Family Bank, Aqua for All in US$2.9m deal to increase lending to medium, small-scale water enterprises

KENYA – Kenyan commercial bank, Family Bank, has signed a €2.9 million (US$2.9m) two-year partnership with Aqua for All, to facilitate increased lending to medium and small-scale water enterprises supplying low-income communities with safe drinking water either through piping systems or water kiosks throughout Kenya.

Aqua for All, a foundation that specializes in innovative finance for water and sanitation, and Family Bank are targeting Community-Based Water Service Providers in order to provide improved access to clean, safe water to over 280,000 people.

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Community-Based Water Service Providers are organized as community-based organizations, Self-Help Groups, Cooperatives, Societies, Trusts, Sole Proprietors, Associations, Faith-Based Social projects and NGO social projects.

Speaking during the signing ceremony, Family Bank CEO Rebecca Mbithi acknowledged that access to affordable credit in the water and sanitation economy remains a challenge.

“As a Bank, we are dedicated to help scale up the financial and operational performance of water service providers and financing initiatives focused on delivering improved water supply and sanitation services to low-income homes.

“Together with Aqua for All, we will be able to widen our financing pool of service providers and provide access to affordable credit for Community-Based Water Service Providers that are providing piped and point services in the unserved or underserved populations,” she said.

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The United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goal 6 (SDG 6) aims at ensuring universal access to safe and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all by the year 2030. However, the UN reports that more than two billion people worldwide lack access to safe water and sanitation.

“We consider Kenya a promising market for water and sanitation investments. However, we need to accelerate progress towards achieving SDG 6.  This requires supporting scalable solutions and facilitating access to capital by unlocking private investments.

“Our partnership with Family Bank is an important step towards providing sustainable access to safe water and proper sanitation nationwide.  By supporting community-based service providers, we can contribute to making the water and sanitation sector in Kenya more sustainable and inclusive,” said Aqua for All’s Managing Director Josien Sluijs.

This partnership will support MajiPlus, a loan facility from Family Bank that provides flexible financial solutions to individuals, micro-businesses, SMEs and Water Service Providers.

In addition, Family Bank will also offer customers training materials on how to provide financing for climate-resilient projects in the water, sanitation and hygiene sector.

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MAPP Africa signs MoU with EMA of Zimbabwe to set up highly advanced water quality monitoring

Meanwhile in Zimbabwe, MAPP Africa, a platform focused on helping Africa build its capacity and resilience, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Environmental Management Agency of Zimbabwe (EMA) to set up ground, surface, and portable water quality monitoring, microbiology testing-as-a-service business.

This partnership will ensure safe water for communities and build capacity when lab infrastructure around the globe is overwhelmed, particularly in Africa.

The initiative will utilize TECTA Pathogen Detection systems, the fastest, most advanced  microbiology monitoring system in the world, delivering onsite, automated E.coli and Total Coliform  detection.

“With TECTA systems being used in over 50 countries worldwide, we are particularly excited about this project and the partnership that MAPP Africa has developed with EMA of Zimbabwe.    

“TECTA-PDS was founded to protect human health through improved water monitoring and we are proud to be doing exactly that in a broad range of environments from remote Indigenous Communities in Canada to larger cities like Harare,” said Doug Wilton, President & CEO, TECTA-PDS.

Two TECTA B16 Pathogen Detection systems are now operational, one in Harare and one in Bulawayo.

Simple and cost effective, the B16 system can be used by virtually anyone, anywhere. This makes it an ideal solution for underserved or rural communities who may struggle with logistical or transportation issues when it comes to water safety.

With the increased need for everyday testing, the project plans to scale up to six TECTA B16 units and place extra units closer to source across the country.

The project will be managed and operated by MAPP Africa within EMA facilities in Zimbabwe.

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