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Panel Registers Request for Inspection of Kenya Water Project

The Inspection Panel on January 12 registered a Request for Inspection of the World-Bank financed Water and Sanitation Service Improvement Project and its Additional Financing. The Panel had received the complaint on November 29, 2016, regarding a water-transfer scheme to be carried out using the under-construction Northern Collector Tunnel Phase 1 (NCT 1) in Murang’a County, Kenya. The complaint was submitted by 47 residents of the county who authorized two residents to represent them in the Panel process. They asked that their identities be kept confidential. The complainants allege that the water transfer from the rivers in their area will have irreversible environmental impact and cause water shortages, leading to food insecurity and domestic scarcity. They claim that the Environmental and Social Impact Assessment of the water transfer was not comprehensive and that community participation in the process was insufficient. They also express concern about the impartiality of an Independent Expert Panel established under NCT 1. Bank management has 21 business days to issue its response.