H.E. Mr. Hideki Ito, Ambassador of Japan to Sudan, visited a water treatment plant in El- Fasher which is being rehabilitated by UNOPS with Japanese funding. This aims to make better use of surface water sources and therefore reduce the risk of water shortages and drought in El-Fasher town. In 2014 the Government of Japan and UNOPS signed an agreement valued at US$500,000 to implement the 'Rehabilitation of El-Fasher Water Treatment Plant' project.
The ongoing population growth in Darfur's major cities has resulted in increased pressure on urban water supply sources and infrastructure systems, simultaneously increasing the risk of water services being unable to meet needs and therefore having a negative impact on vulnerable communities.
UNOPS has a long history of implementing successful water supply system development projects in Darfur, such as the Urban Water Supply Project, in which UNOPS helped to improve the availability of clean water for over 240,000 people in four state capitals in western Sudan. As part of this project, UNOPS supported the Darfur Urban Water Administrations by helping develop the capacity of their employees, providing financial management systems, training for staff and coaching on performance management. UNOPS has also previously worked with the Government of Japan — one of the main donors supporting the water sector in the country — on a project to rehabilitate an unused water treatment plant.
H.E. Mr. Ito said in his speech at the plant that he was pleased to support the residents of El-Fasher by improving their access to a supply of clean water, a vital area which Japan has prioritized in Sudan. The Ambassador also said that Japanese assistance to El-Fasher would continue, with Japanese experts helping the State Water Cooperation to live up to the people's expectations. He also expressed his strong hope of seeing peace and development in Darfur, in which El-Fasher can play a leading role.
Moreover, Ambassador Ito announced the launch of two new projects in Darfur for the rehabilitation of schools and clinics in flood-affected areas, as well as a water security intervention that will also be supported by the Japanese Government and implemented by UNOPS.
Mr. Said Hashmat Sadat, UNOPS Project Manager, thanked the Government of Japan for their continued support and for providing vital funds for the development and rehabilitation of infrastructure in Sudan.
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