Knowledge Note

Access to water supply is critical to lifting people out of poverty. This is especially true in Kenya, where only 1.4 million of the 13 million rural residents with access to improved water supply are served by municipal water services providers. In rural and peri-urban areas in Kenya, community-run, small-scale water systems play a crucial role in supplying and improving access to water services. Such organizations operate an estimated 1,200 small piped-water systems, serving 3.7 million people throughout the country. However, much of the infrastructure in these community-based facilities is run down because of underinvestment in maintenance and rehabilitation. Poor water-related infrastructure makes rural communities vulnerable to droughts and poses a major threat to Kenya’s growth.

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