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Irbid water network to be replaced by 2020 to improve supply

By Hana Namrouqa - Jun 18,2017 - Last updated at Jun 18,2017

Wadi Ziglab, near Irbid. The northern governorates suffer from an acute water shortage caused by limited resources, violations against main water lines and deteriorating networks (Photo by Amjad Ghsoun)

AMMAN — The water network in two of Irbid Governorate’s towns will be replaced by 2020 to improve supply for over 20,000 people, officials announced on Saturday.

The project will be implemented under a $22-million-grant from the Japanese government to improve water supply efficiency in communities hosting Syrian refugees in the north of the country.

In a statement e-mailed to The Jordan Times, Minister of Water and Irrigation Hazem Nasser said that the ministry is exploring all potential water resources to cope with the increasing demand for water, especially in the north, following the influx of Syrian refugees.

“The ministry is also working around the clock to address the pressure over the water network and disruptions in supply, especially in the north, which have resulted from the Syrian crisis,” Nasser said.

The “urgent grant” will support the second phase of a project to improve the efficiency of the water sector in the north, especially in communities hosting Syrian refugees, according to ministry’s spokesperson Omar Salameh.

The grant follows the project’s first phase, which was implemented with the support of the Japanese government through a 2014 grant worth $25 million, according to Salameh, who said that the project was one of the main strategic water projects implemented in the north.

Japan extended the grant in response to the request made to support Jordan in alleviating the pressures of hosting 1.4 million Syrian refugees as part of the Jordanian Response Plan to the Syrian crisis. The grant will be administered by the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS).

The northern governorates suffer from an acute water shortage caused by limited resources, violations against main water lines and deteriorating networks, while the situation has worsened with the influx of Syrian refugees, according to ministry officials.

In addition, the large number of refugees is placing pressure on the local sewage network, frequently causing it to overflow, ministry officials said.

The total number of Syrians living in Jordan is estimated at 1.4 million, around 550,000 of whom are refugees who arrived in the Kingdom following the onset of the conflict in Syria in March 2011, according to official figures.

 

Over 70 per cent of Syrian refugees in Jordan live amongst host communities, while the rest is accommodated in refugee camps.

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