Angola + 1 more

CAR: Japan grants US $73,846 for water projects

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BANGUI, 10 February (IRIN) - The government of Japan and Caritas, a Roman Catholic NGO, signed an 48-million franc CFA (US $73,846) agreement on 7 February for the building and rehabilitation of wells in Ombella Mpoko Province, southern Central African Republic (CAR), state-controlled Radio Centrafrique announced that day.
"The programme Caritas-CAR proposed to us today aims at rehabilitating the disused wells and educating villagers on their servicing and self-management," Nabuyoshi Takabe, the Japanese ambassador to the CAR, said during the signing ceremony.

These funds would "help Ombella Mpoko's population contain waterborne diseases and reduce poverty by creating income-generating activities linked to the modernisation of water wells," Jean-Baptiste Mossoumou, the coordinator for Caritas's Bangui archdioceses, said.

Late in 2002, medical technicians detected several cases of hepatitis E in Ombella Mpoko, especially in the northern suburbs of Bangui, the capital, and recommended that wells be dug in conformity with hygienic norms, i.e. that the wells had covers and be located 30 metres away from latrines.

Caritas will also train villagers to service and manage the wells. Despite CAR's intense hydraulic network, villagers lack clean water. They use both river water and wells, most of which dry up during the six-month dry season, for their needs.

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