ISLAMABAD : Japan has extended grant assistance of JPY 500 million (approx. USD 4.7 million) to the?Metropolitan Corporation Islamabad (MCI) for improving sanitary environment of the capital by procuring garbage disposal vehicles from Japan. Notes to this effect were signed and exchanged between MATSUDA Kuninori, Ambassador of Japan to Pakistan and Noor Ahmad, Secretary of the Ministry of Economic Affairs, in Islamabad on September 8, 2020. MCI is a municipal authority of the Islamabad Capital Territory, which is responsible for various functions including community infrastructure, solid waste collection and social security. Due to the growing population and continued urbanization, Islamabad generates 550-600 tons of wastes per day, about 60 % of which is household garbage. In addition, MCI faces difficulty in collecting garbage because of the shortage and aging deterioration of garbage disposal vehicles. In this program, special vehicles such as the Garbage Compactor, the Skip Lifting Vehicle and the Sewer Jet Sucking machine will be provided to MCI. This grant assistance will help to improve the sanitary environment and beautification of Islamabad. It is also expected that the index of solid waste management, which is one of the five indexes of the “Clean Green Pakistan”, advocated by the Imran Khan administration, will be improved. Keeping the living environment clean is an essential element for people to be free from infectious diseases. Ambassador MATSUDA said, “In Japan, schoolchildren clean their classrooms by themselves every day. Each family separates recyclables from the rest. Local governments collect garbage at a fixed time on a fixed day. The accumulation of such small efforts of people and government helps to keep our living environment clean. I firmly believe that the combination of personal hygiene including washing hands with clean water and improving public health leads to the prevention of infectious diseases. Japan has put priority on the sectors of Water & Sanitation, Health, Education and Disaster Prevention and will continue to support Pakistan in its effort to improve people’s livelihood.