Kenya is the biggest beneficiary of aid from Japan in Sub-Saharan Africa, the country’s ambassador to Kenya Mr Tatsushi Terada has said.
Mr Terada said much of the grant was made through the Official Development Assistance.
He added that more than 300 development projects have been funded in the last 27 years by his country under the Grant Grassroots Human Security Projects.
“The government of Japan has continued to fund schools, community based organisations, non-governmental organisations and medical institutions to improve the lives of the people at the grassroots level,” said Mr Terada.
He said Kenya and Japan have continued to hold bilateral discussions on improving access to health, which is where much of the grants have gone.
“Our prime minister has committed assistance to Kenya worth roughly Sh2.9 billion to development projects. Universal health coverage will be achieved through special focus on financing primary level medical facilities, subsidising health insurance and providing free maternity services,” he said.
Mr Terada made the remarks on Sunday when he officiated during the ceremony to hand over a maternity ward at Kiptulwa dispensary in Sotik Constituency, Bomet County, which was funded by the Japanese government to a tune of Sh7.9 million.
The function was attended by Bomet governor Isaac Ruto and his wife Esther Ruto.
Mr Terada said only 10 projects in the country could be funded annually by his government.
“The last project funded by Japan in Bomet County was a vocational training facility in Longisa ward, which was implemented 13 years ago,” the ambassador said.
Mr Ruto said the county would ensure that medical and non-medical supplies are available in all health facilities.
The governor took issue with Kenya Medical Supplies Agency (Kemsa) for its delay in delivering drugs to health centres in the county.
“We gave an order to Kemsa to supply drugs in January but it made the delivered on Thursday — exactly three months later. This is unacceptable, bearing in mind that they were dully paid. We don’t owe them any money,” said Mr Ruto.
He added that drinking water would be supplied by the county to all health facilities that do not have access to piped water.