Visiting Japanese MPs impressed by rural Rwanda

RWAMAGANA - A delegation of Japanese house of councillors, together with the Japanese ambassador to Rwanda, Kunio Hatanaka, over the weekend, visited water projects financed by Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA), in Rwamagana District.
Councilor Mitsuyoshi Yanagisawa (L) and Ambasador Kunio Hatanaka inspecting rural water infrustricture. (Photo by S. Rwembeho)
Councilor Mitsuyoshi Yanagisawa (L) and Ambasador Kunio Hatanaka inspecting rural water infrustricture. (Photo by S. Rwembeho)

RWAMAGANA - A delegation of Japanese house of councillors, together with the Japanese ambassador to Rwanda, Kunio Hatanaka, over the weekend, visited water projects financed by Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA), in Rwamagana District.

JICA has been rehabilitating and providing water facilities in Rwamagana, Kayonza and Ngoma districts.

The councillors are in Rwanda as part of an Overseas Research Mission, where they inspect projects funded by the Japanese government.

According to the ambassador, Japan is looking forward to working with the Rwandan government in its efforts to develop the country.

“There is no doubt that the relationship between Japan and Rwanda is good. We shall thus, continue helping in development projects, and availing water to rural areas is one of them,” he said.

Councillor Mitsuyoshi Yanaghisawa said that the aim of their visit was to conduct a research on the achievements and needs, in basic infrastructure development.

He said that the research findings will be tabled before the Japanese parliament, so that the funding is expanded.

“After the tragic history, Japan is ready to support Rwanda holistically. We have the knowledge, experienced engineers and other necessities to support such projects,” he said.

Councillor Horunobu Yonenega of the Democratic Party of Japan said that they had a wrong perception about Rwanda prior to visiting the country. He said that when one is far from Rwanda, he or she only relates it to the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.

“I am surprised, actually apart from infrastructure, rural Rwanda is better than rural Japan.  You can see good farms in rural Rwanda, so the gap between urban and rural is not big-this is a sign of development,” he said.

Margareta Mutuyemariya, a resident of Mwurire Sector who benefitted from the water project, said they were facing many problems before the project.

“We used to walk 6 kilometres to fetch water in swamps, but now clean water is at our doorsteps. However, we would like the price to be reduced, because the Rwf 30 we pay per 20 litres, is too much,” she said.

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