March 17, 2023
H.E. President Kiir and JICA Senior Vice President Ando turning the valve to start the water supply
Exterior view of a water treatment plant
On March 16, an inauguration ceremony was held in Juba, the capital of the Republic of South Sudan, to mark the completion of a water treatment system built under the Grant Aid "the Project for the Improvement of Water Supply System in Juba". The ceremony was attended by H.E. President Salva Kiir Mayardit, Minister of Water Resources and other key ministers. From the Japanese side, Ambassador Tsutsumi, Embassy of Japan in South Sudan, Mr. Ando, Senior Vice President of JICA, and Mr. Sagara, Chief Representative of JICA South Sudan Office also attended the ceremony.
This project started in 2007, before the independence of South Sudan, as a survey for the reconstruction and development of Juba City, and construction began in 2013, immediately after independence, with high expectations from the citizens of Juba. The construction period lasted 10 years due to two conflicts in the country and the spread of coronavirus.
In Juba, due to population growth and an aging water pipeline network, the water produced by the existing water treatment plant reached only a small percentage of the population. Due to the lack of basic social services, many people have been forced to live on untreated raw water from the Nile River, which was hazardous to their health and inconvenient for them, forcing them to spend time and effort fetching water from distant wells. There was also the problem of outbreaks of waterborne diseases caused by the poor quality of the water.
As a result of this project, a new water treatment plant with a capacity of 10,800 cubic meters per day, 8 water tanker stations, and 120 public taps were constructed. Residents have expressed their happiness and gratitude for having access to clean water at a reasonable price. The number of Juba residents with access to clean and safe drinking water through this project is expected to increase to approximately 400,000, more than 10 times the previous number, and the project is expected to contribute to improving the living environment and public health.
At the ceremony, Mr. Ando, JICA Senior Vice President, spoke about the importance of the project, including providing clean water essential for human life, building trust between citizens and government, and strengthening the capacity of government organizations and human resources to provide social services, as well as the importance of peace and stability in South Sudan. In response, President Kiir said, "This is a great development assistance with real impact on people’s lives and thus I would like to extend my sincere thanks to the Government and the People of Japan again for another excellent gift to the people of South Sudan. Last year, we received the gift of Freedom Bridge from them and today they have given us the gift of water. To ensure that this project serves our people for a long time, I am instructing all leaders especially the Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation to exert efforts to effectively and sustainably manage, operate and maintain this water supply system for the benefit of our people."
In parallel with the project, JICA has been providing technical cooperation since 2010 to strengthen the operational capacity of the South Sudan Urban Water Corporation (SSUWC). The project has contributed to improving the quality of treated water and the rate of fee collection, as well as increasing the number of customers. Furthermore, a new technical cooperation "Juba City Clean Water Supply Project" was launched in March 2022, providing comprehensive support to SSUWC, the operator of the water treatment facilities, to ensure proper maintenance and management of the facilities and to enable autonomous operation of the water service.
JICA will continue to contribute to solving problems in developing countries through the development of high-quality infrastructure.