Demand for infrastructure exceeds Govt.’s ability to finance
|An Estate: This 500 unit estate will use several septic Tanks|
After the massive construction of Major roads and other transport infrastructure,
is set to embark on another round of developments of social
infrastructure. The country is experiencing a major shortage of houses which
has buoyed activity in the housing development sector. Kenya
Demand for houses, says the government’s official data is 150,000 units a year while supply is just about 30,000 to 40,000 units a year leaving a yawning gap of 110,000 units. Activity in the housing sector has been boosted by the development in roads which has opened up many areas within
and its satellite towns. Still
demand is way ahead of supply. Nairobi City
Adding to the pressure is the new constitution that has devolved governance to the regions creating 47 county governments. These new governments and their attendant bureaucracy will demand offices and residential houses and related infrastructure in the regions.
|These individual units use Pit Latrines|
This means that
which cannot supply the entire required infrastructure from the exchequer
sources, will soon become a major player in PPP projects in East
Africa. The demand for such
infrastructure is expected to grow exponentially over the next 10 years or so
making the country a major market for real estate and related infrastructure
development, say experts.
|The expanse in the foreground and|
background is crying for investors
In the recent past-the private sector, buoyed by ready availability of finance- has moved in to cash in on the demand. But even then demand still exceeds demand by leaps and jumps.
This means that there is room for more investors in the real estate sector to develop the required infrastructure. While the private sector has developed housing units purely on commercial basis, there is one area that has largely been neglected. That is waste water transportation and management systems. A Majority of urban centres, most of which are new and some whose growth will be driven by the devolution of governments, do not sewerage and waste water treatment plants.
This problem is especially critical in urban areas surrounding
due to the movement of people and businesses from the city to the Satellite
towns. Such urban area as; Ruiru, Ruai, Athi River and Ongata Rongai have
posted significant growth in economic activity without concomitant growth in social infrastructure,
including sewerage systems. Nairobi
A recent situation analysis by the
Kenya government reported that, only 14 per cent
urban towns have sewerage systems. It also reported that most of them were old
ranging between 20-40 years and poorly maintained. Consequently, said the
report, the facilities have deteriorated and do not meet
increasing demand leading to frequent
bursts due to overloading. Kenya
Failure to pre-treat industrial waste water leads to sewer bursts due to blockages from suspended solids, corrosive effluent and secondary reactions of effluent in the sewer line, experts say.
A survey by this publication in the above named urban areas established that, most estates have built communal or individual Septic tanks while many other developments have Pit Latrines. These are emptied when full by exhausters at high cost. The high cost of emptying the tanks, this publication has established, is an incentive for some to empty their septic tanks into public places. This contributes to poor hygiene and environmental degradation.
Since local authorities are strapped for cash, they are unlikely to invest in sewerage systems any time soon. Although figures are not readily available, experts say that the investment is colossal.
Therefore they called on the government to consider establishing a PPP framework in the sewerage sector to tap private sector finance and management of the sewerage systems in the country.