Improving water security for displaced people

Project description

Title: Supporting Participatory Resource Management to Stabilise the Situation in Host Communities
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) Special Initiative "Tackling the root causes of displacement – reintegrating refugees"
Country: Jordan
Lead executing agency: Ministry of Water and Irrigation (MWI)
Overall term: 2015 to 2020

Context

Jordan is one of the most arid countries in the world. Its water supply system is outdated, poorly maintained and not fit for purpose in many places. In some locations, up to 70 per cent of water is lost as a result. The resulting shortages were already a challenge for municipalities when the system only had to supply Jordanian households. As of November 2019 Jordan, Syria’s southern neighbour, had officially registered more than 650,000 displaced people from Syria. More than 80 per cent of them are living outside of official refugee camps. Host communities have to provide the necessary infrastructure for refugees which often leads to significant challenges. In Jordan, providing an adequate supply of clean water pushes many communities to their limits.

Objective

The availability of clean water in six of the host communities and in Jerash camp is improved.

Approach

A particularly high number of Syrian refugees live alongside the local population in northern Jordan, near the Syrian border. The project Supporting Participatory Resource Management to Stabilise the Situation in Host Communities (PRM) is being implemented in six host communities on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) to ensure that more than 39,000 residents – among them 5,000 refugees – have adequate access to water. By implementing interventions at different levels, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH is ensuring that dilapidated water networks are repaired, and modern water storage systems as well as barrier-free entrances to water facilities are installed in private households and public institutions. In addition, the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) contributes to the project implementation in one of the communities (Bait Ras) as well as contributes to the implementation of measures in Jerash camp aiming to improve water management at the household level for more than 15,000 residents.

Moreover, residents of the six host communities have an opportunity to become involved in their own long-term water supply through the establishment of participatory exchange platforms. Local community members, including Syrian refugees, are taking part in regular multi-stakeholder meetings with the responsible water sector institutions to discuss water-related issues and the future construction measures needed. Thus, representatives of all societal groups are playing a pivotal role in ensuring that water is distributed equitably across communities and in alleviating conflicts over this scarce resource. Based on the success of the participatory approach, it is foreseen to anchor a participatory resource management concept at the responsible water provider.

Results

Repairs to water networks halved water losses in the communities concerned, cutting them from over 46 per cent to 24 per cent. The network rehabilitation and installation of water saving and storage equipment is saving local communities around 505,000,000 litres of water a year. This amount secures the water needs for 16,000 people and is equivalent to almost 1,000,000 Euros.

In the host communities and in the Jerash camp 5,550 modern water tanks have been installed on roofs.  Around 6,800 water saving domestic devices and 1,400 water saving toilets are provided. In addition, barrier-free entrances, including ramps, wheelchairs and wheeled toilet chairs are installed in over 480 households and 53 public institutions to ensure water access for everyone.  

The project has also supported more than 50 employees of the responsible water utility through capacity development trainings which strengthen their capacities to improve supply to local communities, to plan supply networks and to minimise water losses. In all project measures, special consideration is given to those with special needs, such as children and people with disabilities.