The Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the United States Agency for International Development (USAid), to improve the water supply capacity in the Kingston Metropolitan Area of Jamaica.
Population growth in this area has led to a sharp increase in demand for water. This demand is not adequately met by the ageing water supply, distribution facilities and lengthy water purification process. It is therefore crucial to expand the water supply capacity.
JBIC has already provided an ODA loan to improve this capacity, supporting the rehabilitation and expansion of the existing water supply and distribution facilities, as well as the development of new groundwater sources. With expertise in rural and community development, USAid helps relevant communities to gain a greater awareness of water source preservation, and water pollution prevention being undertaken by the National Water Commission (NWC).
The MOU seeks to establish a joint effort in monitoring the progress of business development at the NWC, conferring with the country’s relevant departments and agencies thereby reinforcing mutual assistance.
This follows a joint initiative launched by the Japanese and US government, ‘Clean Water for People”, to reach a target of the UN Millennium Development Goals to “halve by 2015 the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation”. The initiative is to promote an international effort in achieving this target with Jamaica as a pilot country, along with the Philippines, Indonesia and India.
Given that securing access to clean water is internationally recognised as a key challenge for developing countries, JBIC will continue to provide strong support in this area.