Farewell to a friend of Samoa

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L – R :Mr. Mahmoud Riad (3R +Return Expert - JICA), Ms. Lita Lui (ACEO Aid Coordination Div, MOF), Ms. Yoshida Ayako (JICA Expert) and Mr. Toshiaki Tanaka (Resident Representative, JICA Samoa Office)

L – R :Mr. Mahmoud Riad (3R +Return Expert - JICA), Ms. Lita Lui (ACEO Aid Coordination Div, MOF), Ms. Yoshida Ayako (JICA Expert) and Mr. Toshiaki Tanaka (Resident Representative, JICA Samoa Office)

A J.I.C.A. volunteer and expert, Mahmoud Riad is leaving tomorrow after six years working in Samoa and the Pacific Island countries. 

Mr. Riad has been working and assisting the Japanese Technical Cooperation Project for Promotion Initiative on Solid Waste Management (J-PRISM 2).

It is a five year multi – million dollar project funded by J.I.C.A. in partnership with S.P.R.E.P. with the main goal, the sustainable management of solid waste in the Pacific region. 

Mr. Riad has been working as a J.I.C.A. expert for over 30 years around 30 countries. He first visited Samoa in 2012 and have been working in Samoa and other Pacific Island countries since then. 

He believes that working as a J.I.C.A. expert provides him the opportunity to interact with many different cultures and introduce Japanese expertise to other countries. Riad has contributed a lot in developing of waste management in Samoa.

“I understand that a Samoan word for rubbish did not exist before but rubbish has started to grow as the life styles of the people here changed,” he said. 

“Also the rubbish here is managed by the national government directly and not by local authorities as in other countries. Finally I realized that much more efforts are needed to develop public awareness on waste matters. All these factors made me interested to work in Samoa.”

Riad helped in developing the capacities of the institutions and individuals working in the solid waste management sector, mainly sustainability practices are introduced and the results are shared by the counterparts in different countries in the region. 

He was also worked closely with the Division of Environmental & Conservation (D.E.C.) of Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment in tackling many waste issues in Samoa.

His successor, Ayako Yoshida has return for the 2nd time and she’s no-stranger to the J-P.R.I.S.M. Project team.

She formerly worked as a Project Coordinator for Micronesia’s activities based in Samoa from 2014-2016. 

She then promoted to the Project Formulation Advisor for Environmental Sector in J.I.C.A. Micronesia Office (in charge of Palau, F.S.M. and R.M.I.). 

Ms. Ayako is now back for another two years term as a Regional Cooperation Coordinator for J-P.R.I.S.M. 2. 

Her main role is managing regional activities with collaboration among various donor partners such as S.P.R.E.P., E.U. and others. According to Yoshida, she would like to introduce many good practices from other J-P.R.I.S.M. 2 member countries

Lita Lui spoke on behalf of the Government of Samoa to thank Mr. Riad Mahmoud for his time helping out with the improvement of solid waste management in Samoa and as well as welcoming back Ms. Ayako Yoshida for another two years term based in Samoa. She also thank J.I.C.A.’s continuous support not only Grant assistance but as well as Technical Cooperation that helped the development of Samoa.

© Samoa Observer 2016

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