Nobel peace Prize Winner Mikhail Gorbachev said,’ We must treat water as if it were the most precious thing in the world, the most valuable natural resource. Be economical with water, don’t waste it. We still have time to do something about this problem before it is too late.’
The World Water Week 2022 theme, Seeing the Unseen: The Value of Water, helps us view the importance of water in unforeseen ways and identify our individual and corporate responsibility in focusing on the value of water. Water remains a precious commodity, yet its value is at times trivialized in times of abundance and only focused on in times of scarcity.
The annual World Water Week brings together stakeholders in the water, hygiene and sanitation sector (WaSH) to put their minds together on how to accelerate achievement of SDG 6. Stakeholders converged at the Stockholm International Water Institute -SIWI, from 23rd August to 1st September 2022, to deliberate on various global water issues believing that water is key to future prosperity of nations, organizations and even individuals.
On 29th August 2022, the Kenya Innovative Finance Facility for Water (KIFFWA) represented by our CEO, Mr. Joseph Murabula, joined other stakeholders to discuss, ‘Building financial sustainability of SMEs to achieve SDG 6 after COVID’. This mind-boggling topic came at the right time especially that emphasis was placed on washing hands during the COVID period.
With SMEs constituting 90% of global employment, they are a major force in global economic growth. However, they are faced with a number of challenges when accessing finance; interest rates charged by banks, lack of collateral requirements, and information asymmetries have limited their access to finance. However, at KIFFWA, we have extended water finance to several SMEs in the Kenyan market so that they can jump start their water ventures while in others so that they can upscale to cover a wider region. This has not only ensured accessibility and affordability of clean water and sanitation, but also created employment through direct and indirect jobs.