Along the stream of global assistance, “water and sanitation” is regarded as one sector while the Millennium Development Goals has aims to halve the ratio of persons without accessibility to safe drinking water and basic sanitation facilities (such as toilets) by 2015. Due to assistance from the United Nations, donor organizations and NGOs as well as self-support efforts by developing country governments, access to safe water has improved considerably, but improvements in access to sanitation facilities is still lagging behind. Diarrhea is given as the main cause for deaths of infants in developing countries as a result of infection by viruses and germs in feces. The essential factors to improve the sanitary environment in developing countries are preventing contamination of groundwater and surface water from viruses and germs, and maintaining the safety of drinking water. Other than improvements in sanitation facilities, improvements in sanitary habits such as hand washing after defecation; cleaning areas around water supply facilities; cleaning containers used to carry and store water; and keeping food fresh are also important. Moreover, improvements in both water supply and sanitation are extremely significant to reduce diseases.
Following these trends, we have been executing technical cooperation projects which combine rural water supply and sanitation improvement in Laos, Senegal, Madagascar, Mozambique, Rwanda and Burkina Faso. For these projects, in addition to strengthening of community organizations on operation and maintenance of water supply facilities, we are formulating and implementing plans for sensitization activities to improve sanitary behaviors of residents as well as sanitation promotion activities in schools and health centers. Furthermore, in these projects, we are constructing various types of sanitation facilities as pilot cases, and also carrying out training of local toilet construction technicians, technology transfer on selection and supervision of construction contractors and activities for dissemination/promotion of sanitation facilities.
Moreover, apart from technical cooperation projects, we are conducting information collection surveys and baseline surveys for the sanitation sector in Sub-Sahara African countries.
Hereafter, we are striving to expand the possibilities of Japan’s cooperation for the sanitation sector in developing countries.