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Netherlands donates US $41 million for safe water and Sanitation in Kenya

NAIROBI, 6 December 2007 - More than 1.3 million Kenyans will gain access to safe water and sanitation for the first time, thanks to the Government of  Netherlands donation of $US 41 million to the Government of Kenya  and UNICEF’s  Water and Sanitation Programme.  The programme aims to increase access and raise awareness to the importance of safe drinking water and sanitation as well as appropriate hygiene; especially hand washing.

The agreement between The Netherlands and UNICEF was signed in Nairobi by Ambassador Laetitia van den Assum of The Netherlands and UNICEF Kenya Country Representative, Dr. Olivia Yambi.

Dr Yambi, thanked the Government of Netherlands for the generous contribution, noting that diseases related to unsafe water and poor hygiene contribute to 20 per cent of deaths of children under five years. The support covers a five-year period, from January 2008 to December 2013, in selected arid, semi arid and flood prone districts.

This initiative will accelerate the drive towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals on water and sanitation and help reduce infant and child deaths due to water borne diseases and poor hygiene.

The total project cost is US$ 70.6 million, comprising US$ 41 million from the Government of The Netherlands, US$ 7.6 million from UNICEF, US$ 6.4 million from Ministry of Water and Irrigation, US$ 3.6 million from Ministry of Education, US$ 1 million from Ministry of Health  and US$ 10.9 million from communities.

The signing followed the conclusion of a Financial Arrangement in September 2006 between the Netherlands Minister for Development Cooperation and UNICEF HQ, covering several countries in Eastern Africa. A proposal for the acceleration of Water Supply and Sanitation towards reaching Kenya’s Millennium Development Goals, had been submitted in 2005 by The Government of Kenya-UNICEF Programme of Co-operation, to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Government of The Netherlands

UNICEF is on the ground in over 150 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence.  The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS.  UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments.

For more information, contact:
Sara Cameron, Chief, Communication, Partnership and Participation Section, UNICEF Kenya, Tel: 7622150, Nairobi, e-mail scameron@unicef.org
Or Pamella Sittoni, Communication Specialist, UNICEF Kenya, Tel 7624555 or 0722999258, email psittoni@unicef.org




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