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Sidian Bank, Aqua for All and Oikocredit launch facility to support access to WASH services in Kenya

Sidian Bank, Aqua for All and Oikocredit launch facility to support access to WASH services in Kenya

26 June | 2024

Partnership invests EUR 7.4 million for water, sanitation and hygiene projects with emphasis on climate resilience and gender inclusivity.

Amersfoort, the Netherlands– Social impact investor Oikocredit, Sidian Bank and Aqua for All have launched the third phase of their partnership to support small and medium enterprises and water service providers in Kenya.

Phase III of the tripartite collaboration is set to commence in June 2024 and run through May 2027. This initiative aims to catalyse financing and provide essential resources to enhance water and sanitation services in Kenya, with a focus on WASH (water, sanitation and hygiene) lending. The programme supports small-scale water service providers, households and WASH SMEs, emphasising climate-resilient infrastructure and women-owned businesses. A technical assistance and performance-based grant totalling EUR 207,000 will be allocated for staff training, procurement of technical expertise and market activation. The project targets the disbursement of 480 loans, reaching 3 million people, with a loan amount target of EUR 7,407,407. Additionally, the programme has a strong gender and climate focus, aiming to allocate 40% of loans to women-led businesses and 60% to WASH SMEs and water service providers (WSPs).

The facility will provide financing solutions that align with the revenue streams of small-scale water providers. This initiative will unlock the potential for growth, efficiency and sustainability in the water sector. Ultimately, it will contribute to increasing access to clean and reliable water supply for the majority of Kenyan citizens, particularly those residing in peri-urban and rural areas.

Chege Thumbi, Sidian Bank CEO, said: “As a bank, we are committed to supporting SDG 6 by improving access to WASH financing. This includes enabling growth in access to clean, safe drinking water, enhancing sanitation and hygiene conditions, and developing effective water resource management systems. We are pleased to launch Phase III of WASH financing in partnership with Aqua for All and Oikocredit. This programme aims to catalyse access to WASH financing and provide resources to improve water and sanitation services in Kenya.

“Our blended three-year programme integrates climate action and gender inclusion into WASH financing. Blended financing models, which combine revenue-based credit appraisal with individual risk-based methodology and de-risking instruments like portfolio guarantees, have proven to be financially viable. These models support viable projects even when traditional collaterals are insufficient. The key focus of this programme is on WASH lending, supporting small-scale, private and public water service providers, households and enterprises. We emphasise climate-resilient infrastructure and women-owned businesses. Our partnership aims to support SMEs and WSPs through targeted lending, technical assistance, and performance-based incentives to enhance water infrastructure, promote sustainable practices and improve gender equity in access to finance.

“We expect to reach 3 million people through this programme, targeting the issuance of loans to at least 480 MSMEs. In support of gender inclusion and climate focus, we aim to allocate 40% of the credit facilities to women-led businesses and 60% to SMEs in the WASH sector and WSPs.”

Over the past two years, Sidian Bank has successfully implemented the Covid-19 WASH Loan Facility, a EUR 4 million loan initiative launched in August 2020 aimed at supporting micro, small, and medium sized enterprises (MSMEs) and small-scale WSPs in Kenya amidst the challenges and opportunities presented by the pandemic. Its primary goal was to safeguard continued access to essential water and sanitation services during the crisis and recovery phases. In its first two years, the programme has benefited approximately 1.39 million individuals, created 3,266 jobs and supported 627 enterprises, including financing for six WSPs. The investments, totalling EUR 5 million, have facilitated minor infrastructure and pipeline rehabilitations, solar pumping system installations, and the procurement of essential WASH assets and supplies.

Building on this success, Sidian Bank, in collaboration with Aqua for All and Oikocredit, established the Challenge Fund, a three-year initiative starting January 2023, to further enhance access to safe drinking water. This fund provides loans ranging from KES 300,000 to 10,000,000, covering up to 80% of project costs, with subsidies and technical support to ensure project sustainability. With an initial focus on regions including Kajiado, Kiambu, Machakos, Makueni, Nairobi, and Nakuru, the Challenge Fund targets small-scale piped water providers serving at least 300 households. As the three partners continue to support these vital projects, the grant amount stands at EUR 233,607, with ongoing funding efforts to meet our ambitious goals.

Sidian Bank will roll out a new revenue-based financing model to provide financing for small-scale water providers (SSWPs) based on cashflows. This means that the SSWPs will be able to pay back the loans using the revenue generated from their water services. This innovative approach tackles the lack of traditional collateral, which has been a significant obstacle in the water sector.

Josien Sluijs, Managing Director of Aqua for All, said: “At Aqua for All’s, climate action and gender inclusion are integral aspects of our partnerships with financial institutions and investors. We are excited about the launch of this new programme with Sidian Bank, building on our collaboration to increase access to WASH financing in Kenya since 2020. We are equally delighted to welcome Oikocredit as a partner in our mission to catalyse impact-first investments in the Kenyan WASH sector. Recognising the critical role of private funds in achieving universal access to water and sanitation, we will continue to support the Government of Kenya in attracting more private sector investments. I look forward to implementing this financing programme, which will contribute to climate-resilient and equitable access to safe water and sanitation for all in Kenya.”

Mirjam ‘t Lam, Managing Director at Oikocredit, said: “We are delighted to be launching, together with our Kenyan inclusive finance partner Sidian Bank and our strategic partner Aqua for All, a new programme to provide additional access to water and sanitation financing for low-income communities. Our new joint initiative promoting affordable and climate-resilient WASH services for Kenyans is an exciting development arising from two of our most valued partnerships.”

Caroline Mulwa, Oikocredit’s Regional Director for Africa, said: “As a social impact investor, we want to support sectors that touch the lives of the communities around us. This is a key part of our strategy as Oikocredit.”

About Sidian Bank

Sidian Bank is a dynamic and customer-centric commercial bank in Kenya that provides innovative financial solutions to individuals and businesses. Sidian Bank is committed to supporting entrepreneurship and driving economic growth by offering tailored financing options and specialised services to various sectors, including the water and sanitation sector.

For more information, visit

About Aqua for All

Aqua for All is an international foundation transforming the water and sanitation sector into a sustainable and inclusive economy. Aqua for All leverages its funds through strategic granting and partnerships to accelerate the provision of access to water and sanitation to low-income households. By catalysing private capital for market development and increasing access to finance, Aqua for All accelerates access to affordable, climate-resilient water and sanitation services globally, especially in Africa and Asia.

For more information, visit

About Oikocredit

Social impact investor and worldwide cooperative Oikocredit has nearly five decades of experience funding organisations active in financial inclusion, agriculture and renewable energy.

Oikocredit’s loans, equity investments and capacity building aim to enable people on low incomes in Africa, Asia and Latin America to improve their living standards sustainably.

Oikocredit finances more than 520 partners, with total outstanding capital of EUR 1,136.1 million (at March 2024). For more information, visit


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For more information or to request an interview, please contact: Viviana Cordero, Communications Business Partner, Oikocredit International, telephone: +31 33 422 4040, email:

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