The Government of The Gambia through its High Commission in Dakar, Senegal, on Monday signed a rural water supply project with the Government of Japan. The project is valued at 770 Million Dalasis earmarked for the promotion of sustainable development and livelihoods of Gambians in rural areas.
Speaking at the signing ceremony, the High Commissioner of the Republic of The Gambia to Senegal, H.E. Ebrima Ousmane Ndure, described the gesture as a huge generousity and solidarity from the Government of Japan adding that it is reflection of Japanese culture which is based on the principles of South–South cooperation.
“We, in The Gambia, have followed with a very great interest the positive developments that have been taking place in Japan; a country that continues to be a pride for humanity. We are all aware of the Japanese government’s relentless efforts in pursuit of global peace and development,” the Ambassador said.
He informed the Japanese said that the Government of The Gambia, under the leadership of His Excellency Adama Barrow, recognises with appreciation, Japanese government’s enormous contributions towards the strengthening of the bonds of solidarity, friendship and cooperation between the two countries.
This, he added has been clearly manifested, by Japan’s invaluable assistance to The Gambia through the Japanese Food Assistance, various projects funded by the Japanese Government in the fields of agriculture, health, fisheries, education, amongst others, including the recent donation of 115,956 bags of rice and procurement of tractors and farming implements from the Japanese KR2 Funds. He said Japan is a key development partner for The Gambia.
Speaking at the signing ceremony, the Ambassador of Japan to The Gambia resident in Dakar, His Excellency Minister Arai Tatsuo, recalled that the decision to extend the gesture was borne out of the fact that Gambia’s access rate to safe water is 88 percent in urban areas and 68 percent in rural areas.
Ambassador Tatsuo said the population of The Gambia is growing rapidly, maintaining an annual growth rate of around 3 percent. The water demand has increased significantly as the population increase and water supply facilities have not been able to keep up with the water demand.
He said in view of the importance of cooperation in the water sector, the Government of Japan has provided the three grant aid projects for the construction of water supply facilities and the procurement of materials and equipment “the Project for Rural Water Supply (1990-1995:The Phase I),“the Project for Rural Water Supply Phase II (2004-2008:The Phase II) and “the Project for Rural Water Supply Phase III (2009-2012:The Phase III) at a total of 45 sites.
Ambassador Tatsuo said Japan would help The Gambia meet the Sustainable Development Goals with regards to water and sanitation especially in rural areas.