August 15, 2011
During the first quarter of FY 2011, from April to June, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) signed a total of 26 grant aid agreements.
A complete list of these agreements is provided in the Appendix. Key details are provided below for two of the main projects for which agreements were signed this quarter.
1. The supply of water to unplanned residential districts has become an issue with the progress of urbanization in Zambia. According to a report issued by the WHO and UNICEF in 2010, 66 percent of residents do not have access to a safe water supply.
As urban populations increase, enhancing safe water access to the poor becomes more urgent. Many of the city water supply facilities in Zambia were built prior to the country’s independence in 1964, and the aging of the facilities is a major reason for water leakage and other breakdowns, as well as for the inadequate supply of safe water.
Ndola, in Copperbelt Province, the third largest city in Zambia, with a population of approximately 480,000, as an important a center of the copper industry, is an economically vital city. The population is expected to continue to rise. The poor live in particularly large numbers in the southern part of Ndola, and not only does water supply infrastructure lag there even as urbanization spreads outward toward the suburbs, there are many areas with degraded water supplies caused by aging facilities.
Given these circumstances, JICA signed a grant agreement on June 29, 2011 for the Project for the Improvement of Water Supply Condition in Ndola City (grant amount: 2.116 billion yen).
Through the rehabilitation of the markedly deteriorated Kafubu water purification plant in Ndola, the repair of the city’s transmission water pipes, the construction of public water taps in poor residential areas with inadequate access to water, and the installation of water quality analysis equipment, this project aims to expand the number of people supplied with water and the number of hours water is supplied in Ndola. Restoring the function of the aging facilities and increasing the amount of safe water supplied are expected to improve the sanitation and living environment of the target region.
The executing agency for this project, the Kafubu Water and Sewerage Company, sent the JICA Zambia Office and JICA headquarters cards expressing sympathy soon after the Great East Japan Earthquake struck earlier this year. As a part of the assistance provided to friends of Japan all around the globe, this project is expected to improve the access of safe water in Zambia.
2. In Central America, landslides and flooding disasters occur nearly every year. One such incident was Hurricane Mitch, which struck the Republic of Honduras in 1998, resulting in more than 13,000 dead and missing, and bringing enormous damage including decimating the road network in nearly every part of the country.
In response, the Government of Japan and JICA implemented the development study on Flood Control and Landslide Prevention in Tegucigalpa Metropolitan Area of the Republic of Honduras in fiscal year 2001, and formulated a master plan for the disaster in the capital region of Honduras that had been damaged by the hurricane. The capital city of Tegucigalpa spreads out in a hilly basin area, so that the area has always been susceptible to natural disasters. Furthermore, a substantial number of people have migrated in from outlying areas in recent years, and many of those have no choice but to live in regions with a high risk of natural disaster, increasing the risks posed by disasters all the more.
The Government of Honduras and the city of Tegucigalpa have been implementing the measures suggested in the master plan. However, due to a lack of precise expertise and suitable technology related to landslides, financial limitations and other factors, the measures have not been adequately implemented, and Japan has been requested to provide further assistance. Japan decided to respond by cooperating in the implementation of landslide measures for the capital region. JICA responded to that decision by signing a grant agreement on June 16, 2011 for the Project for Landslide Prevention in Tegucigalpa Metropolitan Area (1.096 billion yen).
Under the project, landslide prevention facilities will be constructed in two areas in the metropolitan area where large-scale landslides occurred due to Hurricane Mitch. At the same time, assistance will also be provided for maintenance and management of the facilities, a monitoring system, and landslide prevention awareness. The objectives are to thereby alleviate the risks of secondary disasters such as flooding due to landslides, and to increase the capacity of the city government and other disaster prevention agencies to respond.
JICA is planning to implement awareness raising activities in conjunction with the Project on Capacity Development for Disaster Risk Management in Central America, a technical cooperation project currently being implemented for six countries in Central America. The measures resulting from this project cooperation to improve the landslide prevention capacity in Tegucigalpa and the community are expected to be shared with other countries in Central America facing the same problem.