Private involvement in WSS is very limited in the country. The Ministry of Water Resources (MWR) is the lead actor in the management of most urban water supplies and all public rural water supplies. Currently, the ministry runs 67 urban water supplies spread all over the country. Other major actors in urban WSS include the National Water Conservation and the Pipeline Corporation (NWCPC), which manages 30 urban water utilities, and 11 Local Authorities which manage their own WSS utilities. Private sector participation is limited to Nairobi City, where there are three private water undertakers serving Runda Estate, Rosslyn Estate and Wilson Airport, while there has also been a growing interest to venture into the sector by other groups. Management of the water sector in Kenya has undergone far-reaching transformations recently, especially looking at the promotion of private involvement, including Public Private Partnerships (PPP). This, however, is not an entirely new situation in Kenya, as private involvement in WSS can be traced back to the colonial days when several undertakers participated in the management of the water systems. In Mombasa, for instance, there existed a private company known as the Nyali Wells Water Company, which supplied water to the residents of Nyali area as a purely private enterprise. During the same period, a private water company in Karen Langata area of Nairobi, also known as Karen Properties was involved in the supply of water to the local residents on a commercial basis. These were just but a few of the private institutions, active in the management of the water sector at the time. Notwithstanding these precedents, the extension of private involvement in the country, and in the whole Sub-Saharan region, in recent times has been very limited in scope (see Table 1) and the prospects for further participation of private investors are still unclear.
Last updated: June 2017