[23rd January 2014]

OFFICIAL VISIT TO JAPAN BY THE PRINCIPAL SECRETARY, STATE DEPARTMENT OF WATER, MINISTRY OF ENVIRONMENT, WATER AND NATURAL RESOURCES

H.E. Ambassador Benson Ogutu (right) poses for a photo with Mr. James Teko Lopoyetum, Principal Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Water and Natural Resources: 21st January, 2014.

Mr. James Teko Lopoyetum, Principal Secretary, State Department of Water in the Ministry of Environment, Water and Natural Resources paid a courtesy call on H.E. the Ambassador on 21st January, 2014. The Principal Secretary is in Japan for a week-long (17th – 24th January, 2014) official visit to oversee conclusion of the tendering process and signing of contracts on the Narok Water Supply Project.

Narok is one of the 47 counties (prefectures) of Kenya with a population of over 850,000. It is located on the South Rift Valley on the north of Tanzania and borders six counties with Nakuru to the North, Bomet, Nyamira and Kisii to the North-West, Kajiado to the East and Migori to the West. The county has 3 Local Authorities (Town Council of Narok, County Council of Narok, and County Council of Transmara). Narok Town is the county capital. Tourism is the largest contributor to the county's economy as it hosts the Maasai Mara National Reserve famously known as the seventh wonder of the world for the annual wildebeest migration. It hosts a number of luxurious hotels, lodges, clubs and camp sites. Large and medium scale agriculture is practice with some of the best quality Wheat and Barley being grown in the rich farmlands in the county. The county is home to the Mau Forest one of the most important water towers in Kenya and an important source of water and livelihood to the growing population and the Maasai Mara Ecosystem.

The Narok Water Supply Project is part of the grant agreement between the Governments of Kenya and Japan for construction of two water projects. The other project is drilling of 90 boreholes in Baringo County. The Narok Water Project would involve construction of facilities that would enhance the water supply system in Narok town and provide clean water to a population of approximately 50,000 people in Narok. The contract was awarded to Konoike Company. The construction, of the two year project, was expected to begin in February 2014. Japan has always been on the forefront supporting Kenya in addressing water challenges. The current national Water Master Plan for the country was launched (2010) with the Assistance of the Government of Japan (JICA). The last National Water Master Plan which was launched in 1992 was also funded by the Government of Japan.

The Principal Secretary is accompanied by: Mr. Japheth Kipng'etich Mutai, Chief Executive Officer, Rift Valley Water Services Board; Mr. Isaac Gichui Kimani, Head Asia/Pacific Program, Ministry of Environment, Water and Natural Resources; and Mr. Wilson Lekenke Pere, Managing Director, Narok Water and Sewerage Services Company Ltd.

Briefing at the Embassy on 21st January, 2014.

Seated from right to left: H.E. Mr. Ogutu, the Ambassador, Mr. Lopoyetum, the Principal Secretary; Mr. Masayoshi Takeuchi, Chairman and CEO of NJS Consultant Co. Ltd; and Mr. Fujiwara Hiroki, President of NJS Consultant Co. Ltd. 21st January, 2014.

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