Exchanging signed agreements
A Mission headed by Mr. Mikio ISHIWATARI signed the Scope of the Work with the Ministry of Disaster Management and Human Rights and the Department of Irrigation of Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Mahaweli Development to commence a "Comprehensive Study on Disaster Management in Sri Lanka" on 22 June, 2006.
Sri Lanka has repeatedly suffered from natural disasters, such as floods, cyclones, and landslides. A flood and landslide disaster in 2003 caused 235 deaths and damaged over 35,000 houses. The Government of Sri Lanka has taken various actions to improve the disaster management capacity by passing the Disaster Management Act in the parliament, establishing the Disaster Management Center (DMC) and by formulating Road Map for Disaster Management.
The following objectives have been set for the Master Plan study which is scheduled to start in October and to be completed in two and half years.
JICA completed the Draft Final Report of the Study on Urban Transport Development of Colombo Metropolitan Region (CMR) and submitted it to the Government of Sri Lanka. The Draft Final Report was accepted by the steering committee which was co-chaired by the Secretary, Ministry of Railways and Transport and Secretary, Ministry of Highways on 25th September 2006.
As it was mentioned in our last JICA Bulletin, the purpose of conducting the Study was toidentify urban transport issues and propose implementable projects to improve the urban transportation in the CMR which consists of Colombo, Kalutara and Gampaha districts.
Video Conference arranged by the Study Team
The Draft Final Report completed by JICA consists of prioritized projects with prefeasibility studies. The Final Report is a comprehensive plan and it consists of 25 chapters and an appendix. Construction of flyovers, establishment of Area Traffic Control System and institutional and policy coordination projects are among the proposals. Before the completion of the Draft Final Report, JICA Study Team conducted working group meetings comprising Sri Lankan professionals in the transport sector, seminars, workshops and a video conference with Thailand Office of Transport and Traffic Policy and Planning. The final report is expected to be submitted at the end of October 2006.
Sri Lanka faces the challenge of achieving better healthcare standards as a result of the emerging threat of non-communicable diseases (NCD) while at the same time having to fight the traditional infectious diseases. A Health Master Plan (HMP) was formulated in November 2003 with a view to strengthen the existing health system. JICA assisted the Ministry of Healthcare and Nutrition of Sri Lanka (MoH) in the formulation process by sending a consultant team under its HMP Development Study Phase I. Last year, JICA commenced the second phase of the Development Study to initiate the pilot implementation of selected component areas, which were identified as anchor projects under the HMP study. The EBM Study aims to help the Ministry in drawing up specific and actionable plans for the implementation based on the evidence collected through the implementation of the pilot projects and case studies.
The EBM study consists of three components. They are:
The evidence based approach has been practiced in clinical medicine for a very long time. However, the application of evidence based practice has been limited in healthcare management, particularly during health strategic planning by the Ministry and health services providers. Thus, it is time to promote the use of evidence in both managerial and policy decision making. Our study will attempt to demonstrate how evidence is generated and used for better decision making to respond to emerging health needs of the nation through the implementation of the three components mentioned above.
The information this study will provide is mainly in the areas of quality improvement and costing, as well as more systematic evidence on NCD. Healthcare decisions have to be taken on best available evidence. It is hoped that this study would help the Ministry of Health, all health institutions both at National and Provincial levels and communities, to set in place a system that produces and presents valid evidence in support of their management decisions.
A five member mission headed by Mr. H. Sakata conducted field investigations and discussions with relevant authorities at national, provincial, divisional secretariat and Grama Niladhari Divisions level for making preliminary arrangement for the Project on Rural Livelihood Improvement in Hambantota from 19th to 31st July 2006.
Regional disparity is an emerging feature in economic and social development and it is one of the crucial issues at present. The poverty ratio in Hambantota is also about 23% which is one of the highest in the Country. In this background, JICA has decided to support improvement of rural livelihood of inhabitants of Hambantota district. Accordingly, JICA supported the Need Assessment and Project Formulation Studies by dispatching missions from Japan in 2004. In those studies, the vital importance of capacity building of community members in order to take part in development activities of livelihood improvement has been highlighted.
The JICA preparatory arrangement team of the project was aiming at ascertaining the facts to justify the project sites, referring to the findings of previously conducted JICA studies and present situation of poverty in the region, while clarifying the task required to be undertaken by JICA and the stake holders of the Government of Sri Lanka (GOSL) in implementing the proposed project. Hence, the mission mainly focused on the framework of the project such as target group, project duration, expected output, selection criteria of target groups, project administration system, arrangements of counterpart funds from the GOSL, etc.
The mission did a wrap up of the findings and proposed arrangements in front of the ministerial and provincial authorities in several stages during their period of stay and Minutes of Meeting was signed based on them on 31st July 2006. The mutual consensus and concurrence with regard to the due contributions of JICA and the GOSL in implementing the proposed project have been noted in the Minutes of Meeting.
According to the Minutes of Meeting, the target group of the project will be Divisional Secretariat Divisions of Sooriyawewa, Lunugamvehera and Hambantota. The duration of the project will be four (4) years with the objective of strengthening and effectively utilizing the existing rural development institutions and practices (e.g. Community Action Planning and Community Contract System), The method adopted in the implementation is expected to be compiled as a Rural Development Model. The input from Japan will consist the provision of expertise, such as Community Development, Agriculture and Rural Infrastructure Engineering etc., Counterpart Training in Japan and Provision of Equipment and Materials required to achieve project objectives. Ministerial and provincial authorities of the GOSL has agreed to make necessary arrangements with allocation of necessary counterpart personnel, counterpart fund and required office spaces, etc. For monitoring and steering of the project, a National level Coordination Committee, Regional (district and provincial) Coordination Committee and Divisional Project Implementation Committees have been proposed to be established and agreed. The project is expected to commence in early 2007 after signing the Record of Discussion between JICA and the Implementation Agency, which is considered the official commitment of the implementation of the project.
Workshop with teachers
Workshop with parents
Prof.Kobayashi s visit
The Media-Strategies for challenging to enhance health promotion through the school health activities in Sri Lanka" is a project in four schools in Southern province of Sri Lanka, in collaboration of PICA, SCSF (Sapporo Cancer Seminar Foundation) Japanese NGO and FHP (Foundation for Health Promotion - Sri Lanka), Sri Lankan NGO.
The objects of the project are follows:
The four schools in which the project is implemented are as follows:
The project began in 04th April 2006 and it has already generated some changes in the four schools. The teachers, pupils, parents and others in the community are interested in the project and are enthusiastic. There are also such changes as the schools have already become more studentcentred and child-friendly.
The head of SCSF Professor Hiroshi Kobayashi visited the four schools on 24th and 25th May and three times before that. He will facilitate a workshop for representatives from the four schools in December 2006.
Matara Water Supply scheme constructed under the Grant Aid Programme of Japan was officially handed over to the public on 28th July 2006. The Government of Japan provided a grant of approximately Rs 1,198 million for the completion of Matara Water Supply project. This project included construction of Kadduwa intake, Malimbada Water Treatment Facility, Diyagaha Reservoir, installation of distribution pipelines and transmission pipelines and other related facilities.
Hon. Dinesh Gunawardane, the Minister of Urban Development and Mr. Nobuaki Ito Minister / Deputy Head of the Japanese Embassy observing the treatment facility
People utilising the water supply received under the project
The facilities constructed under the project secure the required water capacity of 15,000 cubic meters per day to meet the needs of the people living in outskirt of Matara including Diyagaha, Kekanadura, Talpawila, Nakkawita and Weragampitiya areas.
Before the opening of the improved Matara Water Supply scheme, people in Matara coastal areas faced severe hardships due to very restricted water supply. As a result of the project about 200,000 people are benefited enjoying 24 hours water supply with adequate quantity. The Project benefits also include new connections for 28,650 people. Reduction of water based diseases and time serving due to reduction of water-fetching especially by women and children are indirect effects of the project.
Hon Mangala Samaraweera, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Ports and Aviation, Hon. Dinesh Gunawardane, Minister of Urban Development and Water Supply and Mr. Nobuaki Ito Minister / Deputy Head of Mission of the Embassy of Japan attended the handing over ceremony.
Mr. Kimihiko KATO
Mr. Kimihiko Kato a SME (Small and Medium Enterprise) promotion short term Expert was dispatched to the SME Bank of Sri Lanka from 02nd July 2006 ~ 12th August 2006 to support and advice the SME bank to strengthen and build up the capacity and the organization in sequence to provide wider service and cooperation to the Small and Medium entrepreneurs. Mr. Kato was previously dispatched to the SME Bank in Thailand as a long term JICA expert for a period of three years, in the transaction period of the SME finance cooperation to SME Bank of Thailand.
Professor Yoshihiro HIRATA
Ceramic Industry Research and Development Promotion Adviser
Professor Y. Hirata of the University of Kagashima was dispatched to Industrial Technological Institute (TTI) and the Ceramic Council of Sri Lanka from 13th July to 30th July 2006, to identify and advocate the necessary directions and actions required for the development of the ceramic industry of Sri Lanka. A study report was presented to the members of the ceramic council and the ITI on 27th July 2006, specifying the essential inputs for in achieving the aforementioned objectives.
Mr. Hachiro IDA
Long Term Expert to ERD
Mr. Hachiro Iida arrived in Sri Lanka on the 01st July 2006 as a long term expert in the field of "Coordination & Implementation Support for JBIC Funded Development Projects" He is attached to the Deartmpent of External Resources, Ministry of Finance and Planning and the duration of his assignment in Sri Lanka is initially for a period of one year from the date of arrival. Mr. Ida has graduated in Bachelor of Engineering and has obtained Master of Science degree from the Stanford University in USA. Prior to the assignment in Sri Lanka Mr. Ida had been engaged in the activities of one of the JICA Technical Cooperation projects in Thailand "Development Capacity of the Government to Post-evaluate externally Funded Project". Mr. Ida has vast experience in planning, management, monitoring and evaluation of ODA Loan projects. He also obtained experience in Sri Lanka by working as a representative of Japan Bank for International Cooperation in mid 1995.
Dr. H. Saito, JICA Project Formulation Advisor who was in Sri Lanka for one year from 7th September, 2005, successfully completed his assignment and returned to Japan 6th September 2006.
Dr. Saito's assignment in Sri Lanka consists of two components as follows;
Project formulation on Livestock development was done mainly concentrating on cattle and buffalos. For project formulation, several base line surveys were conducted to grasp the real condition of live stock such as production, import items, marketing, consciousness of consumers towards the price and hygiene of milk and milk products, land area for livestock and income generated by livestock. The surveys were conducted with the cooperation of local consultants. And also, he analyzed the secondary data of FAO and department of census and statistics etc. Based on the findings, he has been able to provide some comments and suggestions for the National Livestock Development Policy (draft) which was appealing for public comments and suggestions in June 2006. This is an additional achievement.
Some of the findings of his analysis are:
In line of the major findings mentioned above, Dr. Saito has formulated project concepts such as establishment of regional centers for Small Scale clean milk Project, Establishment of a efficient Distribution Network for Fresh Milk, Progency Testing, Artificial Insemination and Feeding management Project, Establishment of a Dairy Product Training Center and Genetically Improved Stud Bull Development Project etc. to be considered for JICA technical cooperation in the future.
Under the supervision and facilitation for smooth implementation of JICA In-country Training on animal Husbandry for farmers in the North and East, Dr. Saito has contributed immensely by identifying the real need of training participants to supply required inputs to get the maximum benefit of the knowledge and know-how of the training. After confirming the needs with training participants, at the time of training course being held at Animal Husbandry Training Centers in Seeppukulama - Anuradhapura and Poonthoddam - Vavuniya, Dr. Saito personally visited NLDB farms for finding suitable stud bulls and relevant suppliers for procument of equipment. Due to his dedication, it was possible to supply 18 stud bulls to be used by farmers groups in each area five sets of milk separators and two sets of debeakers to the participants. In addition he contributed with guidance and advice in preparing teaching materials for training participants, improve the learning environment of above mentioned training centers with training equipment, facilities such as cattle sheds, facilities to establish grass lands etc.
It is expected that Dr. Saito's contribution for the advancement of livestock in Sri Lanka will be a remarkable in JICA technical cooperation to this field, which was approached for the first time since JICA commence its activities in Sri Lanka.