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​Project is over but Friendship is forever

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The General Directorate of IZSU, which is the water and sewerage administration of Izmir Metropolitan Municipality, has completed the joint work started with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and Sendai Municipality for preventing damages on the Izmir’s water and sewerage system during any potential earthquake.

The closing meeting of the “Project on Capacity Enhancement for Risk Management Based Improvement of Izmir Sewerage System” was held in Izmir Metropolitan Municipality’s Çetin Emeç Meeting Hall. Executives and technical team from IZSU as well as Masataka Kudo, the Head of Sendai Municipality’s Sewerage Administration, Tetsuya Mizutani, the Director of Sewerage Administration, Akihiko Otsubo, the Assistant Director of Sewerage Administration and Sewerage Administrator Hiroyuki Kato, and Kouichi Nakashima,  Shinya Mizusawa, Yuusuke Sugawara from the Department of Sewerage Projects and JICA Turkey’s Vice President Kota Katsumata and JICA Turkey’s Program Supervisor Ali Bekin attended to this meeting.

The General Directorate of IZSU reported that sewerage risk map of Balçova, namely “the testing ground”, was prepared within the scope of joint works started with the Japans 3 years ago and a 5-year (2019-2023) rehabilitation plan has been designed based on the hard data of the risk analysis and the high-risk sewer lines will be prioritized.
When leaving Izmir, the Japanese experts had emotional moments and said: “The project is over but the fellowship we have will be forever.”

Fügen Selvitopu, the General Director of IZSU, noted that there are two key studies that must be completed in the cities located in the seismic zones, such as Izmir; the first one is about the measures to be taken before the natural disaster and the second one is about the preparations for things to be done after the disaster and added: “As IZSU, first, we did performance analysis on our buildings to take necessary measures in this topic and to strengthen our infrastructure, and we have ongoing projects aiming to build up the system. Furthermore, we project we conduct with Sendai Municipality about our infrastructure system has been completed. We reviewed the sewerage system in Balçova, the “testing ground” we selected. We determined the risky zones and things to be done to eliminate the risks and we started working. We are going to complete maintenance, restoration and renewal of the sewerage system in the areas considered to be risky. We will make sure that this project continues in our districts”.
Masataka Kudo, the Head of Sendai Municipality Sewerage Projects Department, reminded the 2011 Great East Japan earthquake and noted that several countries all around the world send aids to Sendai city and expressed his gratitude for these aids and added:  
“We are pleased to share our knowledge and experiences with you. In 2016, we started this project with IZSU and both parties worked hard for the project. The key factor that brought this challenging project to the last stage is the ambitious, determined and dedicated approach of IZSU personnel. The technical method, knowledge and experiences learned through this project performed in Balçova might be easily adapted to the flooding and earthquake risks in the other regions. IZSU, as a pioneering Turkish organization in asset management, has made progress. Thank you for your kind hospitality”.

We have a strong bond
JICA Turkey’s Vice President Kota Katsumata noted that the 3-year joint project has been completed and added: “During this project, the two municipalities established a strong relationship of trust. I have witnessed several times that the Turkish people refer us as “The Japanese people are our brothers and sisters”. I have genuinely felt that the bond between these two municipalities transformed into a bond between brothers. The project is over but the bond between the people and cities will go on forever.”
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