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Strategic Needs Assessment of the Central Provincial Water Testing Laboratories

The Water Resources Management Authority (WRMA) was established by the Water Act 2002, and one of its mandates is the monitoring of water resources in the Republic of Kenya as part of its catchment management role. This necessarily calls for access to water quality laboratory services. At present there are seven water quality laboratories under MoWI, these being located in Nairobi (the Central Testing Laboratory or CTL), Mombasa, Kisumu, Nyeri, Embu, Nakuru and Kakamega.

There is a need to maintain access to laboratory facilities by the Ministry of Water (MoWI) and Irrigation and other institutions to ensure international water quality assurance, water quality monitoring, and water security. This study, commissioned by the MoWI and the WRMA, examined issues of benefits, costs, investments as well as present and future institutional needs that contribute to the sustainable management of laboratories.

Overall aim of this study is to determine the economic and institutional viability of the existing water testing laboratories. The principal objectives of this assignment are to: Determine the current status of the Central Water Testing Laboratory (CTL) and the Provincial laboratories; Assess existing service provision and future needs; Determine the viability of the laboratories as stand-alone cost centres; Describe and review lessons learned regarding the operation and management of water quality laboratories in the region; Make recommendations for the future ownership and operation of the laboratories; Make recommendations for future investment and staffing requirements of the laboratories, and chart the way forward regarding transfer to new organisations; Review the role of the WRMA and the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) in the formulation of water quality standards; and Describe the requirements and procedures for accreditation by the Kenya Bureau of Standards (KBS) and internationally.

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