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‘Second phase of Balama water network project under way’

By Hana Namrouqa - Nov 08,2014 - Last updated at Nov 08,2014

AMMAN — The Ministry of Water and Irrigation has started the second phase of a project to rehabilitate the water network in Mafraq Governorate’s Balama District, a government official said on Saturday.

The second phase of the rehabilitation project will cost JD1.4 million, the official added, noting that it is funded by a grant from the German Development Bank (KfW).

“The water infrastructure in Balama is under renovation to meet the increasing demand due to the huge Syrian influx in Mafraq,” the official told The Jordan Times on condition of anonymity.

Under the rehabilitation project, over 15 kilometres of the current pipelines will be replaced, in addition to installing new valves and tertiary pipelines to households.

“The ministry will also install new water gauges for households, build a new reservoir to store 1,000 cubic metres and establish two pumping stations to meet the increasing demand for water in Balama, which hosts thousands of Syrian refugees,” the official noted.

Balama District, located 40 kilometres northeast of Amman, has a population of over 24,000 and hosts some 13,000 Syrian refugees.

The majority of the Syrian refugees in Jordan are residing in the northern governorates, which receive the lowest water per capita share and suffer from the highest water loss rates in the Kingdom.

The refugee influx caused water demand to increase by 40 per cent in the north, 10 per cent in the southern governorate of Karak in the south and by more than 21 per cent of the Kingdom’s average water demand.

Jordan now ranks as the world’s second water-poorest country, where water per capita is 88 per cent below the international water poverty line of 1,000 cubic metres annually.

The available water resources in Jordan offer 800-900 million cubic metres of water annually, according to the ministry, which said that this annual amount caters to the needs of only three million people, while the number of water users in Jordan, including refugees, now exceeds 10 million people.

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