Control over water and wastewater

Project description

Title: Stabilisation of water supply and sanitation services for refugees, internally displaced persons and host communities in Dohuk Governorate, Northern Iraq
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Iraq
Lead executing agency: Ministry of Planning of the Kurdistan Regional Government 
Overall term: 2016 bis 2019

Foto: GIZ/Fabian Schwan-Brandt

Context

Approximately 1.3 million people live in Dohuk Province in the autonomous region of Kurdistan. Since the outbreak of the Syrian crisis in 2014 and the advance of Islamic State since then, more than one million internally displaced persons and around 250,000 Syrian refugees have sought refuge in this region, and almost half of them in Dohuk Province. The influx of so many people has led to a dramatic deterioration in the water supply and sanitation services.

The authorities in Dohuk Province do not have sufficient internal capacity to build the necessary infrastructure. In addition, the continuing economic crisis means that the government does not have the money to purchase replacement parts or water treatment chemicals.

Objective

The water supply in Dohuk Province is stabilised and refugees, internally displaced persons and the population in the host communities have access to clean drinking water.

Approach

In collaboration with the water authority, the project team has identified particularly urgent measures that will ensure a short-term improvement in the water supply and sanitation services for refugees and internally displaced persons in the camps and for residents in the host communities. These include building and rehabilitating wells, repairing water pumps, putting in place and renovating deep water tanks, and providing replacement parts and chemicals to improve water quality. Priority measures are being carried out in cooperation with the project’s partners (the Danish Refugee Council and World Vision International).

A new water supply system is being put in place in the sub-district of Faida to safeguard the supply of drinking water over the medium and long term. On the basis of a feasibility study, the team is taking joint decisions with its Kurdish partners on the best solutions going forward. Once the new facility is in operation, it will supply around 200,000 people with clean drinking water.

Particularly vulnerable refugees and internally displaced persons are employed in the construction work. These cash-for-work measures thereby provide them with a temporary income.

To ensure that the new drinking water system is used sustainably, the entire process is being jointly planned with the Kurdish water authority, which will in future be responsible for operating and maintaining the facility. Technicians, operations staff and managers are being given the necessary training so that they can run and service the facility effectively.

The Kurdish water authority is also working with the project team on devising a water strategy that builds on the positive experiences of other countries in the region. In the long term this will serve to reform the water sector, which up until now has been inefficient and unstructured.

To make people aware of the drastic shortage of water, information campaigns are being organised to provide information about water and offer tips on how to use it sparingly.

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