National Bank of Kenya (NBK) in partnership with Aqua for All has launched a Sh5 billion Water, Sanitation and Hygiene financing programme to offer support to businesses dealing with water, sanitation and hygiene products and services.
Groups that are expected to benefit from the fund include micro, small and medium enterprises, corporates, public and private entities, vendors, technology providers, and suppliers of products and services within the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene value chain up to last mile connectivity for communities and individuals.
The new financing programme that comprises of Jenga Biashara loan and Infrastructure project loan seeks to address financial needs, efficiencies, sustainability and growth of water sector enterprises, institutions and communities.
Speaking at the launch, Ministry of Water, Sanitation and Irrigation Chief Administrative Secretary Dr Andrew Tuimur assured that the National and the County governments will continue to promote good corporate standards in Water Sanitation Programmes (WSPs) and ensure the establishment of a regulatory environment that recognises the providers of commercial finance.
The CAS reiterated the Ministry’s commitment to multi-stakeholder partnership for water resources management and service provision in Kenya. In his remarks, NBK Managing Director, Paul Russo reiterated the bank’s commitment to provide tailor made products and services to a variety of SMEs’ needs to ensure long term growth.
The MD said the partnership has come at an opportune time when Kenyans and especially the SME sector continues to face difficult times with the on-going Covid -19 pandemic.
“As a bank, we are constantly looking for opportunities to support long-term growth to SMEs in all sectors of the economy,” said Russo.
He urged all SMEs in the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene sector to take advantage of the opportunities presented under the programme to help them address the financial gaps in their operations.
In her address, Managing Director Aqua for All Josien Sluijs said through the partnership and shared vision with NBK, they will be able to create a conducive environment for water sector enterprises, institutions and communities to provide sustainable water, sanitation and hygiene services to all people where they operate.
The NBK Water, Sanitation and Hygiene financing programme will offer flexible financing solutions under two different facilities including working capital loans dubbed ‘Jenga Biashara Loan’ that targets informal and semi-formal entrepreneurs providing Water, Sanitation and Hygiene products and services in urban and rural areas.
The Infrastructure Project Loans targets household connections, smart metering, solar projects and other efficiency improvement assets.
By Hamdi Mohamud