Germany will allocate 250 million Euros for development co-operation with Kenya over the next two years, says Berlin’s Ambassador in Nairobi, Jutta Frasch.

She says negotiations for the funds between Kenya and Germany were concluded last month and the money will be expended in 2017 and 2018.

The water sector was one which would greatly benefit from the funding, she said when addressing the opening of first Kenya-German Water Week at the Kenya Water Institute here Monday.

Water and Irrigation Cabinet Secretary (Minister) Eugene Wamalwa, who officially opened the conference, said that accelerated involvement of the private sector in water supply projects would enable the country to address its water scarcity.

“Kenya is a water-scarce country. Sixty-five per cent of urban areas are covered and only 49 per cent of rural areas while sanitation stands at 20 per cent. Continued urbanization leads to more demand and our economic growth is also raising the demand for industrial water,” said Wamalwa.

“We support Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) and new technologies in solving water problems and we welcome German experts to share with us their experiences.”

German water experts are in the country to train their Kenyan counterparts on the latest technology and trends in water and wastewater management. the Kenya-German Water Week It precedes the first Kenya Water Week which will be held next month.

The experts, brought in courtesy of the German government, will hold a five-day workshop in Nairobi, with participants drawn from stakeholders in the industry.

Since 2009, a total of 1.6 million people in poor urban areas have benefited from access to clean water through the German-Kenyan co-operation and in Western Kenya, a further 400,000 now have sustainable access to water.

“Water and sanitation, especially in urban areas, are issues that need to be addressed urgently. The workshop will focus on latest technological advances to help more people access clean water,” said the Country Director of the Delegation of German Industry and Commerce in Kenya, Maren Diale-Schellschmidt.