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JICA, UNOPS present upgraded water distribution networks to Water Ministry

By JT - Mar 21,2023 - Last updated at Mar 21,2023

Relocation of water house connections in Hawwara and Sarieh districts (Photos courtesy of UNOPS)

AMMAN — The Ministry of Water and Irrigation, the Japanese embassy in Jordan, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), and UNOPS celebrated the handover of the water house connections under the “Urgent Improvement of Water Sector for the Host Communities of Syrian Refugees in Northern Governorates in Jordan (Phase 2)” project, following the completion of water distribution networks in the districts of Hawwara and Sarieh in Irbid in 2020 and 2021, respectively.

The Japan-funded $21.6 million grant aid project has rehabilitated approximately 190km of water distribution networks as well as relocation of over 4,000 house connections to the new network in the host communities of Syrian refugees in Irbid to improve quality of, and access to water supply services, according to a statement from UNOPS.

Okuyama Jiro, ambassador of Japan to Jordan, stated: “We are fully aware of the importance and gravity of the water crisis in Jordan, which is getting worse due to the impact of climate change as well as population growth. That is why we place the water sector among Japan’s priorities in our development assistance to Jordan. I am very glad that we can see the completion of the third phase of Japan’s grant assistance entitled ‘Urgent Improvement of Water Sector for the Host Communities of Syrian Refugees in Northern Governorates Phase 2.’ I would like to express my heartfelt appreciation to all the relevant parties including the Ministry of Water and Irrigation, UNOPS and JICA for their dedication and efforts in implementing this project.” 

Wakui Junji, chief representative of JICA Jordan Office, said: “I would like to express my profound gratitude to all concerned agencies (Ministry of Water/Irbid Governorate/Municipalities etc.) and UNOPS as our partner for completing the project. Under this COVID-19 situation, people’s demand for water is increasing, so, I hope rehabilitation of the water distribution in Hawwara and Sarih area contributes to the improvement of water distribution to its residents and supports efficient use of the limited water resources.” 

Water Minister Mohammad Al Najjar said: “The project will increase efficiency of the networks in Hawwara and Sarih, and reduce Non-Revenue Water (NRW) in line with the government plans and the execution of the NRW Strategy to reduce NRW by 2 per cent annually, to 25 per cent by 2040, as well as improve the water supply regularity to Hawwara and Sarih areas in Irbid.” 

He expressed the government’s appreciation and gratitude for the continuous support from the government and people of Japan to Jordan, especially to the water sector through JICA, noting that this support has clearly contributed to alleviating the impact of the arrivals of refugees and enhanced the capabilities of the Yarmouk Water Company (YWC).

Muhammad Usman Akram, representative and director of the UNOPS Multi-Country Office in Amman, said: “Water insecurity remains a serious challenge in Jordan. UNOPS values its continued collaboration with JICA and the Government of Jordan in enhancing water infrastructure in the country utilising our expertise in infrastructure and procurement. This project will contribute to enhanced access to water supply services and reduce water losses to populations in the targeted districts. ”

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