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Plastics companies team up to deliver more affordable water

June 2014

An estimated 56,000 of Nairobi’s poorest residents will receive a safe and reliable water service - costing a tenth of what they currently pay - due to a new four-partner collaboration.

Plastics companies Borealis’ and Borouge’s joint CR programme, Water for the World, together with Water and Sanitation for the Urban Poor (WSUP) and the OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID) have joined forces to supply Nairobi’s Mukuru Sinai and Korogocho informal settlements with improved access to drinking water. This will be achieved through a planned approach to network design using high quality PE pipes and pre-paid water dispensers to provide water at a much lower unit tariff than they currently pay.

“Using high quality PE pipes, we will reduce the non-revenue water lost due to leaks and illegal connections that impact on Nairobi City Water and Sewerage Company’s financial ability to supply informal settlements around the city,” explained Mark Garrett, chief executive at Borealis. “The expected lifetime of these pipes is three times as long as existing pipes and higher durability results in fewer pipe breakages, less contamination and leaks, and lower maintenance costs.”

Wim Roels, ceo, Borouge, said that the company is no stranger to this kind of initiative: “In Asia, we have also supported several local communities in India, Vietnam and China through our Water for the World program, by facilitating access of safe drinking water and better sanitation to schools and villages. This collaboration with WSUP is another opportunity where we engage with an international NGO to bring affordable and safe drinking water to more homes.”

WSUP chief executive Sam Parker noted that the key objective was to supply drinking water at an affordable price: “We achieve this by applying a model that strengthens the capacity of service providers to extend their services into low-income areas and informal settlements on a profit-basis, at the same time as offering water at a price less than half a cent per jerry can.”

Parker highlighted too the success of existing WSUP programmes in Bangladesh, Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar, Mozambique and Zambia that have adopted the model, which promotes financial, institutional, environmental and social sustainability.

Rachid Bencherif, head of OFID’s Grants Unit believes it will be a showcase to be replicated in other regions where clean water supplies are in demand: “OFID’s principal objective is to provide the finance that allows essential infrastructure to be built, thus alleviating poverty and stimulating economic growth. OFID’s projects focus on meeting basic needs, which include clean water and sanitation, alongside food, energy services, healthcare and education.”
 




Africa | Collaboration

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