On October 7, 2019, the President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, Mohammad Ashraf Ghani, granted Dr. Tetsu Nakamura, University Professor of Kyushu University’s Institute for Advanced Study, honorary citizenship for his humanitarian work in the country fighting a weaponless battle against water scarcity.
Nakamura was providing medical aid to some of the many doctorless villages throughout the country when he realized, “More than one hundred clinics, these people needed one irrigation canal.”
From 2003, he began working to improve irrigation conditions in rural areas of the country. Over the following 16 years, his work has supplied water to 16,500 ha of fields—half the area of Fukuoka City—in Afghanistan, and he continues these efforts to this day.
At the ceremony, President Ghani gave Nakamura a deep, heartfelt embrace before hailing him as hero. President Ghani told Nakamura, “You are welcome at the Presidential Palace in Afghanistan anytime. And if you are even in trouble, please let me know.”
Of the honor, Nakamura said, “I hope that our endeavors can bring hope to many people, alleviate tragedies, even if just in the slightest, and restore land on a large scale in Afghanistan during this crisis caused by desertification of farmland.”