Japan Finances Rural Water [Archives:1998/22/Business & Economy]

June 1 1998

The government of Japan has granted Yemen $7.5 million for the implementation of the Rural Water Supply Project in the southern and eastern governorates. The deal was signed on Tuesday, 19 May by the Yemeni Minister of Panning and Development and the Ambassador of Japan.
“With this grant and its subsequent technical follow-up, the Yemeni government will be able to supply water to about 35,000 inhabitants in 31 villages in Al-Sadara and Al-Raidha in Hadhramaut,” announced a source at the Japanese Embassy in Sanaa.
Japan had previously extended a soft loan of about $29 million in 1977 and 12 grant aids that amounted to about $49 million, almost every years starting from 1981. A total of 69 sites in the governorates of Sanaa, Hodeida, Mareb, Dhamar Ibb, Taiz, Hajja, Al-Mahweet and Abyan benefited from these loans by way of water projects.
Ismail Al-Ghabiry of Yemen Times met Mr. Tetsuji Niwano the leader of team of Japanese specialists currently visiting Yemen and filed the following the interview.
Q: Could you tell us about your work in Yemen?
A: Our team consists of 8 Japanese engineering experts for studying the water supply project in Abyan and Hadhramaut, to be financed by the Japanese government. This is the first time that the Japanese government has provided such assistance to the southern part of Yemen.
We are registered consultants of the Japanese Techno Company in Tokyo, and are employed by the Japanese International Corporation to undertake this project in Yemen.
Our company has been long engaged in studying water supply projects in this country, and the Japanese government provided the main 9-phase project to the northern part of Yemen. This time the project shifted to southern Yemen.
Japan Techno first came to Yemen in 1979 to give the country and it’s people safe and stable water from deep wells. Fifteen projects were started in 1980, and continued for 3 years. We are now in the 11th phase of this grant-aid project.
Most of the impressive projects, the Japanese achieved was in Shihara. There are 7 stages to the top wells in Shihara, in which special techniques and especially strong pipes were used. This project needed a total amount of $3 million in 1976.
Q: What does the grant project entails?
A: A grant project means to provide emergency help to the Yemeni people who need the help. So it was nearly ´500 million. In the big cities like Sanaa and Taiz, which have not found the solution until now.
If ground water is properly managed, I believe the rural areas can be provided with good water supply systems. This country needs to find good ground water resources. Our team has during the last 20 years worked hard to find such resources.
Q: Could you tell us more about the signing of the new grant?
A: Today we announced another assistance package for the second phase in Hadhramaut. This was divided into two stages: first the study and design costing ´36 million.
The two phases will enable 100,000 to receive water.
Q: Will you provide technical training as well?
A: It is permitted by the JICA system to invite a counterpart engineer from Japan, for one month only, to provide know-how for the Yemeni side.
Q: What is your impression about how the Yemeni people receive these projects?
A: People are pleased and have been waiting for the Japanese project. We receive a very warm welcome in all the villages we visit. Our team must do everything to find good water resources, and also to provide effective supply facilities. This is our target.