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Great Lakes Article:

Sh1.8 Billion Grant for Water Privatisation
East African Standard (Nairobi)

The World Bank is to release a grant of Sh1.8 billion towards the privatisation of water supply in the City.

The ongoing talks between the Nairobi City Council and the World Bank over water privatisation are in the final stage.

Nairobi Mayor Joe Aketch yesterday said the bank is to give us around 15 million US dollars.

"Negotiations have been going on for a long time and we are now at the final stages," he said.

Officials from the bank and those from the city council led by Aketch were holed up in a meeting the whole of yesterday.

The mayor said the council would hold 100 per cent shares in the private company that would be given the mandate to manage water services in Nairobi.

Speaking to journalists in Nairobi, Aketch said the council had already formed the company adding that more details will be given to the city residents soon.

"We already have a chairman to serve at the company and all I can say is that everything is in place," he said.

Aketch said the 2,200 officers working at the council's water department would be deployed to the firm.

The council serves a population of over four million residents in the city, in an area of 6,590 square kilometres.

"The council is supposed to provide water services to the city residents but it has been unable to cover some of the areas," he said.

Aketch said the company would ensure that dry taps were a thing of the past.

The mayor said even areas that have been without water would be supplied when the company takes over the running of water services.

On the issue of street children, Aketch said the government had already set aside 40 acres of land in Ruai for a rehabilitation centre.

"The street children will not get an opportunity to return to the city centre to harass residents because the land is 45 kilometres from town," he said.

He admitted that street children living in Bahati, Mbotela and Pumwani Social Halls had become a nuisance in estates neighbouring the rehabilitation centers.

Aketch said some of the children sneak from the rehabilitation centers and cause havoc.

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