The Embassy of Japan hosted a Press Tour in Luapula Province for the major media in Zambia from 29th October to 1st November 2018, in which 6 journalists from 3 newspapers, 1 TV station and 1 radio station participated. The tour aims to create the opportunities for the national media to cover development cooperation by Japan and strengthen Japan’s public information activities vis-à-vis the Government officials, intellectuals and people in Zambia at large.
The group of the media and the delegation of the Embassy of Japan visited Mansa, Mwense and Samfya Districts in Luapula Province, about 800km from Lusaka. They visited the project sites of “Technical Cooperation Project on Community-based Smallholder Irrigation (T-COBSI)”, “The Project for Groundwater Development in Luapula Province Phase 3”, “The Project for Support in National Roll-out of Sustainable Operation and Maintenance Programme (SOMAP 3)”, “The Project for Strengthening Capacity of Urban Water Supply Infrastructure”, “Collaboration Program with the Private Sector for Disseminating Japanese Technologies for KANSAI Anti Mosquito and Shiquy Anti-Microbial Paints” and one Japanese Overseas Cooperation Volunteer.
The 1st Day
On 29th October, Mr. Hidenobu Sobashima, Ambassador of Japan, his delegation and the group of the media paid a courtesy call to Mr. Royd Chakaba, Acting Permanent Secretary of Luapula Province. Ambassador Sobashima briefed Mr. Chakaba about the tour and the Japanese projects of development cooperation implemented in Luapula in recent years. Mr. Chakaba Province expressed his gratitude for the cooperation from Japan to Zambia and the benefits brought by the projects implemented in the Province. After that, at their accommodation, the officials from the Embassy, JICA Zambia Office and the Ministry of Agriculture briefed the media on the outline of the on-going projects and the projects planned to be visited.
The 2nd Day
On 30th October, in Mwense District, they visited a site of “Technical Cooperation Project on Community-based Smallholder Irrigation (T-COBSI)”, where a permanent weir was constructed with rubbles and concrete, and heard the explanations of the activities of the project such as training of the Agriculture Ministry officials and farmers through constructing and maintaining the weirs. A beneficiary farmer said that he was able to grow tomatoes, which enabled him to send his children to school and construct his new house due to the increase of his income.
In the afternoon, they visited the sites of “The Project for Grundwater Development in Luapula Province Phase 3” and “The Project for Support in National Roll-out of Sustainable Operation and Maintenance Programme (SOMAP 3)”. They saw the residents there using the underground water delivered from a public faucet of the piped water system as well as from a hand pump. Through this visit, the media learned that the people in the community are managing the water facilities for their sustainable use by collecting the fees, checking the equipment and operating the piped water system themselves.
The 3rd Day
On 31th October, they were briefed by Luapula Water and Sewerage Company on “The Project for Strengthening Capacity of Urban Water Supply Infrastructure”, which aims to reduce non-revenue water through the establishment of a mid-term business plan and a human resources development plan. Later, in Mansa, they visited the fields irrigated by a simple weir which was made of natural materials available around the site covered by the T-COBSI. A farmer expressed his pleasure that he had not faced water shortage since the weir had been built.
Then, they visited 2 houses, whose walls had been painted by the Anti-Mosquito Paint under “Collaboration Program with the Private Sector for Disseminating Japanese Technologies for KANSAI Anti Mosquito and Shiquy Anti-Microbial Paints”. They were briefed by Mr. Mwenso, Operation Manager of Kansai Plascon Ltd. about the program and watched inside the houses, and the media interviewed their residents as well as Mr. Kutsuna and Mr. Nagano who are senior managers of Kansai Paint Co., Ltd., the parent company of Kansai Plascon. The residents said that they need not worry about Malaria now. It is expected that the Anti-Mosquito Paint will be recognized by a large number of people through its coverage of by the media in this tour.
In the afternoon, they visited a site where Mr. Takezaki, a Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteer is supporting farmers in production of rice as his activity of community development in Samfya District. A farmer thanked that Mr. Takezaki for always encouraging him and other farmers, and Japanese experts who had occasionally visited there for their advice on rice production, and expressed his appreciation to Japan for these. On the other hand, Mr. Takezaki said that we were learning a number of things from each other through his activities.
This tour resulted in a number of media reports. On 1st November, the final day of the tour, a newspaper posted a photo of Ambassador Sobashima on the front page and reported Japan’s development cooperation of the following page. It seems that this tour helped the Zambian people deepen their understanding of the Japanese development cooperation, which has been implemented not only around Lusaka but also in rural areas, and has been contributing not only to the economic development of Zambia but also to the improvement of the lives of Zambians.