The Government of Japan through its private sector has introduced innovative technology aimed at providing clean and safe water at a reasonable price in the rural areas across the country.
Poly-Glu, a simple water treatment project by a Japanese social business company, is an initiative which commenced in December last year in Kagera region. It was officially introduced yesterday by Japanese Ambassador Masaki Okada, during a briefing to the media at his residence in Dar es Salaam.
Ambassador Okada proposed this simple treatment technology to the government as a lifesaving strategy to residents in rural areas, saying that it would help prevent waterborne diseases such as typhoid, which is prevalent in the country.
“I highly recommend this water treatment method to the people of Tanzania because it makes the water 100 per cent clean and safe to drink with no side effects,” he affirmed.
Polyglutamic acid, the main component in the treatment product (PGa21Ca), is a type of amino acid that is widely used as a food additive, and therefore it causes no harm to the human body.
Dr. Kanetoshi Oda, the Poly- Glu chairman and CEO who is also the inventor of the project, stated that the water treatment is 100 per cent effective and has no side effects.
And to prove his point, guests were treated to a live demonstration of simple water treatment whereby polyglutamic acid was mixed in a jar with muddy water sample from Kagera River and stirred for five minutes then dirt particles were seen floating in the jar. Then the water was transferred to a filtering jar where flocs formed and settled at the bottom of the jar leaving the rest of the water clean and safe to drink.
“We are supplying safe drinking water to many displaced people in neighboring Somalia. We want to extend this technology to Tanzania. This is a step towards eradicating diseases and poverty in the country,” he said.
According to Eng. Kanetoshi, the treatment would enable rural residents to purchase up to 20 litres of water at an affordable price of Sh100 or only $2 per month, a reasonable price to many rural residents.
The project would create job opportunities as the two water plants would create jobs to up to 150 persons since it will be managed at the community level, he said.
The company has conducted water treatment trial tests in Kagera region whereby two installations were made in Bukoba and Misenyi districts and proved successful.
The two-month pilot project was launched in Kagera at the end of last year with the objective of identifying barriers to accessing clean water by target communities. After completion, the two facilities were handed over to local managers who started to supply water to local residents on February 2.
On his part, Kagera Regional Commissioner Fabian Massawe hailed the initiative saying it is beneficial to rural communities and the country at large, assuring the visitors that the government would cooperate with the Japanese agencies to sustain the project.
“Bukoba is one among regions in Tanzania endowed with abundant fertile land which is suitable for agriculture and tourism activities. And the infrastructure is developing at a good pace. So I think it is fair that the project has commenced in this region for it will boost economic activities and to improve the lives of the workers there,” he said.
In the same vein, Poly Glu Social Business Co. Ltd has vowed to strengthen its efforts to contribute towards achieving Tanzania’s Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) as well as enhancing business and corporate citizenship.
Poly-Glu Company’s easy to use water treatment technology has so far enabled millions of people in developing countries such as Bangladesh and Somalia to access safe and clean water affordably.