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Japan lends assistance to improve water systems

TOKYO, May 27 – The Japanese Government on Tuesday promised to dispatch missions to Kenya to intensify the construction of water supply systems and roads in rural areas.

Japanese Prime Minister Yasao Fukuda said the construction of the ‘missing link’ roads and intensified construction of water systems would be the next phase of development cooperation between the two countries.

The roads, which will act as the overall transportation system of the City of Nairobi, include direct road links between Waiyaki Way to Red Hill Road and Langata Police Station to the Westlands roundabout.

Other link roads in the city will be Westlands and Ngong Road, and Thika and Jogoo Road.

The water systems, said a statement from the Presidential Press Service (PPS), would comprise small holder irrigation schemes to help boost food production in rural areas.

During the bilateral talks between President Mwai Kibaki and Fukuda in Japan on Tuesday, Kenya also appealed for increased funding for the importation of fertilisers.

Japan has pledged over Sh400 million in food assistance for internally displaced persons.

The country also gave Kenya a loan of about Sh16 billion to fund the upgrading of the Mombasa Port Container Terminal.

“The modernisation of the port of Mombasa will not only speed-up the movement of goods in the country, but also boost regional trade,” President Kibaki told the Premier.

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Fukuda said Japan would double its overseas development aid to Africa by 2012 with the aim of establishing the Japanese Bank for International Cooperation Facility for African Investment.

President Kibaki appealed to the Asian country to also widen the duty free and quota free market access currently granted to products originating from least developed countries, to enable other developing countries such as Kenya to benefit.

“The balance of trade, which is heavily in favour of Japan, remains a major challenge for our two Governments and we need to find ways of reversing the trend,” said Kibaki.

On Wednesday, President Kibaki is expected to address the official opening ceremony of the 4th Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD).


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