Drinking water for all

Installation of a water meter for a new drinking water supply network in Mafraq, Jordan

Since the civil war began, more than 660,000 Syrians have fled to neighbouring Jordan. This is equivalent to almost 10 per cent of the Jordanian population – and more refugees are arriving every day. The influx of such large numbers of refugees is overstretching the national infrastructure.

One major problem is the provision of drinking water for all people, as water is extremely scarce in this desert country. Jordan's water resources have always been overexploited, so that regeneration has no longer been possible. Every year, the water table falls by about one metre.

On behalf of the BMZ, KfW Development Bank has therefore been involved in the Jordanian water sector for many years now. In order to make sure that there is adequate water supply for all local people and refugees and in order to prevent conflict between the two groups, the German government has significantly increased its funding for the Jordanian water sector since 2012. At present, KfW is preparing and executing water projects worth a total of about 877 million euros. These projects include both short-term measures to address urgent water needs in the border regions and activities for the long-term, sustained improvement of water supply in Jordan. For example, old deep wells providing water for cities such as Irbid, Ramtha and Mafraq are to be repaired. These cities are hosting particularly large numbers of refugees. Some 1.7 million people depend on these wells.

Some examples of results so far

  • Thanks to repairs to the supply network, 135,000 people now have better access to drinking water.
  • 800,000 refugees and Jordanians are going to enjoy reliable water supplies thanks to the expansion of the Aqib pipeline, which connects one important wellfield to the Jordanian supply network.
  • By the end of 2014, 20 wells had been repaired. The additional water now available will meet the water needs of about 365,000 people.
  • Safe drinking water (50 per cent from new wells) and hygienic sanitation are available for 132,000 people in the Zaatari and Azraq refugee camps.
  • In the host communities, 12,000 pupils now have improved sanitation facilities.

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