Cash for Work: Protection of Water Dams in Jordan

Project description

Title: Protection of Water Dams in Jordan through Labour-intensive Activities (Cash for Work)
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Jordan
Lead Executing Agency: Jordan Valley Authority
Overall term: 2017 to 2025



Jordan is one of the world’s most arid countries. Population and economic growth as well as a high number of refugees are increasing the pressure on its water resources. In addition, there are high levels of unemployment in communities that have taken in large numbers of refugees.

At the same time, the King Talal, Mujib, Wala, Zeglab, Kofranja and Wadi Arab dams are silting up due to bank erosion. As a result of sand and other sediments depositing in the reservoirs, they are not able to store as much water. This silting up endangers the water supply for agriculture in the long term.


Construction measures preserve the storage capacities of the dams and reduce erosion in the dam catchment areas. The short-term employment opportunities improve living conditions in the host communities.


The project is part of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) special initiative ‘Tackling the root causes of displacement, stabilising host regions, supporting refugees’. It creates temporary employment opportunities (‘cash for work’) for needy Jordanian families and Syrian refugees. It works in three fields of action:

  1. The project takes measures to prevent soil erosion. This includes reforestation and constructing retention dams as well as terraces, gabion walls, rip rap and dry stone walls in the catchment area of the dams.
  2. The employees preserve cultural heritage sites and rehabilitate relevant antique water infrastructure.
  3. The project is setting up a coordination structure in order to implement all BMZ cash-for-work measures in Jordan more efficiently.

In total, this provided work for more than 10,000 individuals for at least 40 days, 22 per cent of whom were women. The project also provides labour market services to promote medium-term and long-term employment prospects.


Stand: October 2021

Further information