The Japanese embassy in Rwanda has signed two funding agreements with civil society organizations to improve access to safe, clean water and rehabilitation of feeder roads.
The duo funding agreements were signed between Imai Masahiro, ambassador of Japan in Rwanda, and two local organizations including the Hand In Hand for Development (HIHD) and Community Road Empowerment (CORE) at the Japanese Embassy in Kigali, February 24.
CORE uses ‘Do-nou’ technology by wrapping soil in a gunny bag to construct roads. This technology was used over 100 years ago in Japan.
Founded by Prof. Masayuki Kimura, Kyoto University Graduate school of Engineering, this technology is applied in the construction of dam embankments, road maintenance, culvert and bridges, flood routing dykes, footpaths in flooded areas, building foundations, and retaining walls.
“The project aims to provide clean water and sanitary facilities directly to 580 people living in Bihungwe and Kamembe villages by constructing micro-flush toilets, bio-sand water filters and rainwater harvesting tanks,” Amb. Masahiro said.
According to Amb. Masahiro, the government of Japan will provide $89,107 to HIHD for the construction of the micro-flush toilets, bio-sand water filters and rainwater harvesting tanks.
“This is the first time for the HIHD for development to implement a project under our GGP scheme, and we are very pleased to collaborate with them as they have a vast experience and have contributed to the Water and Sanitation Sector in Rwanda for 10 years,” Amb. Masahiro added.
For the Core organization, the government of Japan has pledged $333,841 for the construction and rehabilitation of feeder roads in five districts. They include Rubavu, Musanze, Burera, Nyabihu and Gicumbi district.
The organization also targets training 250 people on feeder road maintenance, rehabilitation and construction.
“It is for the second year of the three-year project, which aims to improve the rural populations’ skills in road maintenance, introducing Japanese Donou-technology. The project involves different levels of government from central ministries to local sector offices, and with the cooperation with these government institutions, the project participants are equipped with new techniques and are expected to contribute to the alleviation of poverty in rural areas through improvement of road accessibility,” Amb. Masahiro added.
Last year in March, $334,744 was also availed to CORE to facilitate the repairing of feeder roads of about 1300 kilometers for three years in 16 districts including City of Kigali’s Kicukiro, Gasabo and Nyarugenge districts, among others.
“The target is extending transport services to residents, but also giving them these skills of maintaining roads,” Yuko Yokomizo, project coordinator at CORE said.
Rwanda-Japan have been collaborating in several areas including health, education, infrastructure, among others.
For example, in 2019, the Rwanda and Japan government inaugurated the first integrated science and innovations children’s center- Keza Learning center, which will groom little engineers and future innovators.
The Rwf50million center located in Gikondo sector – Kigali city and named after the famous dream child-Keza was launched by Japan’s new envoy to Rwanda, Amb. Imai has a public private partnership with ten private sector investors in education and sciences.
The center, with a programming and robotics workstation, nature studies, arts, culture and music school accommodates over 150 children between three to 17 years, who will get a holistic education.
“We shall build toilets for over 600 families, this will increase the hygiene, but also prevent several diseases that come from using dirty toilets,” Isaac Mugabe Hangimana, legal Representative of HIHD said.
“The money will be used for what has been negotiated and all the works will also be presented to the donors, we hope to achieve the targets as they have been planned.”