Oikocredit Allocates $2 Million for Kenya and $160,000 for Uganda to Support Community WASH Initiatives

Social impact investor Oikocredit and global foundation Aqua for All will support Sidian Bank in Kenya and EBO Financial Services in Uganda in increasing lending for water and sanitation services for underserved people.

Responding to Kenya’s and Uganda’s rural and peri-urban populations’ lack of access to safe drinking water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services, Oikocredit and Aqua for All are partnering with Sidian Bank (Kenya) and savings and credit cooperative EBO (Uganda).

Oikocredit will provide US$ 2 million in Kenya and US$ 160,000 in Uganda to finance private-sector-led community WASH initiatives. Aqua for All will contribute technical assistance and training grants, first-loss capital and performance-based incentives. 

In Kenya, Sidian Bank (a partner of Oikocredit since 2005 and of Aqua for All since 2020) will lend to providers and customers of paid-for WASH services. The partnership is expected to benefit 5,000 households by 2026. In Uganda, EBO (an Oikocredit partner since 2016) will lend to its customers and small private water operators to expand or upgrade operations, and provide quick-access funds for emergency pipe repairs, benefitting 1,500 households by 2026.

Michael Kariah, Oikocredit’s Investment Officer for East Africa, said: “Through our partnership with Aqua for All, we are enhancing access to affordable and sustainable WASH services in our region. This includes directing new financing towards EBO in Uganda and Sidian Bank in Kenya. These investments are a key element in the implementation of our 2022-2026 community-focused strategy. We are excited about these projects and eagerly anticipate the broader positive impact on communities through our partnership with Aqua for All.”

Leonard Obuna, WASH Finance Manager for Kenya at Aqua for All, said: “Partnering with EBO will kick off our efforts to support households and small and medium enterprises in Uganda. Our newest partnership with Sidian Bank will boost our current efforts to transform the Kenyan water and sanitation sector into a more inclusive and sustainable economy. In Oikocredit we have found a like-minded partner to catalyse capital for WASH while generating positive impact on low-income, underserved communities in East Africa.”

Mr Chege Thumbi, the CEO of Sidian Bank, stated “We are thrilled to further our partnership with Aqua for All and Oikocredit in accelerating access to affordable and reliable WASH services for the Kenyan population. As a bank, we are dedicated to bridging the gap in water, sanitation, and hygiene services and making a positive impact on communities.”

Mugume Joseph the Chief Executive Officer of EBO Financial Services, said: “Our new partnership with Aqua for All and Oikocredit will help Uganda reduce waterborne disease prevalence and household healthcare costs, free women and girls from fetching and carrying water to engage in education and economic activities, and improve agricultural irrigation and productivity, food security and smallholder farmer livelihoods.”

Sidian Bank is a leading mid-tier financial institution in Kenya that provides a wide range of savings, loans, insurance and trade finance products and services with a focus on SMEs and individuals. The bank is dedicated to supporting its customers with transformative financial solutions customised to meet their unique needs. With an extensive network of 43 branches and various digital channels, the bank ensures accessibility and convenience for its valued customers.

EBO Financial Services is a Ugandan member-based, -founded, -owned and -controlled rural savings and credit cooperative with more than 100,000 members. Dedicated to community engagement, EBO’s mission is to provide sustainable quality financial services that promote improved livelihoods of members, especially in rural areas, while preserving the environment. EBO mobilises its members to save, provides credit services and trains members in farming best practices.

EBO was founded in 1995 by smallholder farmers in Greater Mbarara district and currently serving more than 15 districts in western region which are faced with lack of access to credit and other financial services from conventional financial institutions. It strives to uplift the livelihoods of the rural poor and especially agricultural communities, women and youth while making a reasonable profit to sustain its growth.

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