30 May 2003

Tanzania: Japan to Spend Tsh 6.6 Billion On Water Projects

About 2,000 households in the districts of Hanang, Singida Rural, Manyoni and Igunga have bid their water scarcity problems goodbye, following the completion of a major rural water supply project in their respective areas.

Supported by the Government of Japan to the tune of JY-785 million (about Tsh6.6 billion), the project will provide clean and safe water to the villagers, thereby reducing the prevalence of water-borne diseases in those areas.

The Charge d'Affaires a.i at the Japanese embassy in Tanzania, Takamichi Okabe, said the project would bear a positive impact on the social lives of women and children who had to spend so much time walking long distances in search of water for domestic use.

Okabe was speaking at the handing/taking-over ceremony of the project in Hanang last week, which was also attended by the Tanzanian vice-president, Dr Ali Mohamed Shein.

"Attempts to improve the living conditions of women and children will certainly enhance the morale of the community, the Wananchi, who are the true protagonists in the fight against poverty, and who are truly responsible for building the future of the this nation," Okabe said.

The envoy said his country recognises the water problem as one of the most serious challenges currently facing the contemporary world. As such, it needs a comprehensive approach in accordance with local conditions, which include the provision of drinking water and sanitation, as well as water pollution control.

In view of this, so he said, Japan has prioritised assistance in the water sector by providing worldwide direct assistance. This amounted to more than JY-650 billion (about Tsh5.7 trillion) between 1999 and 2001.

In March this year, Japan hosted the 3rd World Water Forum, which resulted in the establishment by that country of a Water Resource Grant Aid.

According to Okabe, about JY-16 billion is to be earmarked in this year's budget of the Japanese Government for the scheme.

The purpose of the scheme is to provide drinking water and sanitation to people suffering from the shortage across the globe.

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