On the occasion of World Water Day, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has reaffirmed its commitment to mitigate water scarcity issues in India. This year’s theme for the annual World Water Day observed on March 22, is “Groundwater: making the invisible visible”. Keeping with this year’s theme and following the issues of water shortage, contamination, and even distribution, JICA is supporting various projects that may help make clean drinking water and adequate water supply a reality for all.
JICA has implemented various different projects such as Rural Water Supply and Fluorosis Mitigation Projects, Water Supply and Sewerage Projects as well as Irrigation and Livelihood Improvement Projects in various states across the country. The main objective of these projects is to provide safe and adequate drinking water supply to all, expansion of sewerage facilities to improve the natural resources and quality of life of people in the region and increasing the agricultural productivity, thereby developing strategies to ensure that there is no water scarcity in the country.
As we mark this occasion, it is essential to acknowledge the importance of the value of water and the role it plays in our lives even more, as we are facing the impact of climate change. In a country like India where populations often overpower resources, we need to bring about significant changes to ensure we utilize our water sources sustainably and efficiently.
Speaking on the occasion, Mr. SAITO Mitsunori, Chief Representative, JICA India said, “Living in these unprecedented times where nothing is certain, we must learn our lessons and be extremely cautious of how we utilise Earth’s depleting resources. It is more critical especially for countries like India where fresh water resources are very limited and water scarcity is daily concern for hundreds of millions of people. The water sector plays a vital role in all areas of life, be it social, economic or personal. Safe water, adequate supply and efficient sanitation should be a reality for all. While we may soon emerge out of these unprecedented times, it is imperative we don’t create a water crisis for ourselves in the future. It is important to apply the SDG theme of “leave no one behind” to provide water and sanitation for all by sustainably using groundwater and making the invisible visible”, he added.
Japan’s support through ODA loan to water and sanitation sector in India is more than 50,000 crores, through 38 ODA Loans, 4 Grant Aids and 12 Technical Cooperation Projects. With JICA’s projects, water supply has reached approximately 30 million people and 15 million people have received access to sanitation. JICA is committed to keep supporting related projects in the future as well for better living conditions.