The Japanese Ambassador to Botswana, Hiroyasu Kobayashi, hosted an observance ceremony in commemoration of the Great East Japan Earthquake under the theme- “Open Restoration”.
Kobayashi assured the guests that reconstruction of the affected areas was well underway.
“The infrastructure and the economy of the disaster affected regions are steadily recovering,” he said.
Koboyashi said that this was made possible by the generous contributions they got from the international community across the globe, which amounted to US S4 billion of which Botswana contributed one million Pula.
March 11, 2011 marked the day the eastern part of Japan experienced an undersea 9.0Mw earthquake resulting in a tsunami which claimed the lives of over 16, 000 people, approximately 5, 000 missing and almost 6, 000 injured. This natural disaster also rendered natives homeless and exposed them to disease and hunger.
“Regarding shelters, around 50,000 provisional housing was supplied within 6 months after the ‘3/11′ and now the number of people in the shelters has decreased to 600 as the situation improves,” said Kobayashi.”
He further indicated that despite this development, there were still more than 17, 000 people who were still homeless and living with friends and family members.
For his part, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Phandu Skelemani, extended his sincerest condolences on behalf of the government of Botswana and her citizens for “The triple disaster” being the Earthquake, Tsunami and the devastation that succeeded them. Skelemani explained the nature of the relationship between the two countries.
“Botswana regards Japan as a strategic partner in development through the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the Tokyo International Conference on African Development. Botswana has benefited and continues to benefit immensely in the areas of Human Resource Development, capacity building, technical assistance development aid, assistance towards addressing HIV/Aids, debt relief grants, loans, tourism promotion and promotion of trade investment.”
Kobayashi highlighted the importance of the global community during hard times like these and pledged that, “We will continue to contribute to the international community by actively providing information on enhancement of nuclear safety and disaster prevention measures.”