Accra, Dec. 21, GNA - The Government of Japan on Wednesday released a cheque for 81.8 million dollars to the WaterAid - Ghana, an international NGO, to improve ground water supply facilities in the Northern, Upper West and Upper East Regions.
The grant was the outcome of a high-level diplomatic collaboration between the governments the United States of America and Japan, to affirm their commitment towards the provision of safe water and sanitation for poor countries.
Mr Masamichi Ishikawa, Japanese Ambassador to Ghana, at the signing ceremony in Accra, said the promotion of hygienic sources of water among poor and deprived populations was an issue that needed much attention. He mentioned the Clean Water for People Initiative by the US and Japan at the World Trade Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg in the year 2002, out of which came the West Africa Water Initiative (WAWI) of which Ghana, Mali, Niger and Senegal were identified as possible initial target countries.
He commended WaterAid-Ghana for its enduring development activities and the efforts in initiating the project to ensure clean water supply through the provision of about 340 hand pumps to communities that had their own hand-dug wells and for the maintenance of infrastructure in deprived areas.
The Ambassador gave the assurance that Japan would continue to support in poverty reduction activities in the country. Ms Aissa Toure Sarr, WaterAid Country Representative, thanked the Government and people of Japan for the assistance and said the grant would greatly assist the Organisation to affirm its commitment towards poverty reduction in Ghana.
She said as the first beneficiary of the grant in Africa, Ghana through WaterAid would be able to provide access to water for more than 45,000 beneficiaries by March 2007 in the three northern regions.