Afghans on Friday remembered Dr. Tetsu Nakamura, the Japanese Aid worker, on his first death anniversary. The Japanese physician devoted his life to transform the lives of Afghans in a turbulent time of their political history.
Nakamura was assassinated last year alongside his five Afghan colleagues in an attack by unknown armed men in eastern Afghanistan. No group or individual claimed responsibility of the assassination.
The Afghan government so far has not managed to identify those who plotted the attack on Nakamura.
President Ashraf Ghani in a video message on Friday said the attack was conducted by those who cannot tolerate a thriving Afghanistan.
“The enemies who cannot tolerate a thriving Afghanistan perpetrated a barbaric act of terror and assassinated Dr. Tetsu Nakamura, depriving Afghanistan of a symbol of humanity, compassion, and a real friend of Afghanistan”, President Ghani said.
Nakamura was affectionately known as "Uncle Murad" by villagers in eastern Afghanistan, where he led the development of water and agricultural management projects since his arrival in Afghanistan in 2008.
Nakamura's killing shocked many Afghans.
Nangarhar residents where Nakamura worked shared their work experience with him and his services.
“First time I met him at the Behsud Dam. He was working together on the dam with the local people and was carrying sand on his shoulder,” said Zabet, a resident of Behsud district of Nangarhar.
“We are very disappointed with the government when an attack like this happened inside the city. He brought prosperity and construction to Nangarhar residents,” said Mohammad Omar, a tribal elder in Nangarhar.
“A Japanese Dr. devoted his life to serving our people. Unfortunately we could not provide security to him,” said Mohammad Abed, an Afghan physician in Kabul.
“Someone who named Haji Mohib a native of Laghman was arrested and transferred to the counterterrorism department of the Ministry of Interior,” said Ghulam Sanayee Stanekzai, the Nangarhar police chief.
“Afghans are leading the remaining work on the projects initiated by honorable Dr. Tetsu Nakamura,” said Fahim Sherzad, a member of Nakamura’s Foundation.
Life and services for Afghanistan:
Nakamura, 73, came to Afghanistan in the 1980s to treat leprosy. But he changed many more lives with the canal-building techniques he brought from Japan.
He established canals from the Kunar River and also dug over 1500 wells that now provide clean water to over 650,000 people in Nangarhar.
The Japanese aid worker helped to build a main canal about 25.5 km long from the Kunar River to the Gamberi area.
He was working on the second phase of this canal with a budget of more than $15 million when he was killed in the attack.
After facing difficulties in procuring equipment to dig the first canals, he drew inspiration from techniques used more than 200 years ago in his hometown in Japan.
Along with irrigation projects, Nakamura established two hospitals, as well as two mosques.
Nakamura died in an attack by unknown armed men in Nangarhar province in the east of Afghanistan on December 4, 2019. His death has shocked and saddened Afghans nationwide, with vigils held in Nangarhar, Kabul, Parwan, Khost and Bamiyan.
Nakamura and his three guards and two colleagues were traveling to Shewa district of Nangarhar when the assailants gunned down them in Jalalabad city, the center of Nangarhar.
No group took credit for the murder. The Taliban also denied involvement.
Nakamura also served as a physician in various regions of Afghanistan during the civil war.
According to the residents in Nangarhar, Nakamura also established five health clinics and a madrasa in Nangarhar, Kunar, and Nuristan provinces.
Work is underway on some of his projects including Murwarid Dam in Nangarhar will be completed this year. Projects initiated by Nakamura created over one million jobs to the people. Nakamura also established a park which is lying over 12,000 acres of land in Nangarhar.
Nakamura’s friends have said that he also established several gardens where farmers are now growing lemons, orange, and apples.
After the murder of Nakamura, no one has take the responsibility to lead his foundation.
Murwarid Dam was his lost project in Shewa district which costs over $15 million. 90 of the works have been completed on the project.