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Towards cost-efficient household water distribution network in Za’atari camp

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Every day ACTED delivers water to tens of thousands of refugees living in the extremely water scarce Za’atari refugee camp in Jordan. To make sure every household in the camp has improved and more widespread access to clean and safe water in a more cost effective and environment friendly way, ACTED has launched the construction of a water distribution network to reach and connect at household level in Za’atari refugee camp, alongside with Oxfam. 80,000 people will be connected to the water network and will have direct access to potable water instead of collecting water from tanks which are currently located throughout the camp and which are filled daily by hundreds of truck.

More consistent delivery of safe and quality water to refugees

This large scale water distribution network, along with a third well, and previously constructed mobile waste water treatment units, will drastically reduce water distribution and management costs. These water initiatives are also a means of ensuring more sustainable access for all refugees to water, hygiene and sanitation services in the camp. “Our teams in the camp have been mobilized so far in ensuring the delivery of 3,489 cubic metres of drinking water daily (35 litres per refugee per day). We are very pleased to shift to the next level and contribute to the Za'atari water network. Not only has the construction of a network with connections at household level never been done on this scale, more importantly, it will ensure more consistent delivery of safe and quality water to refugees,” said ACTED Jordan’s Country Director, Byron Pakula. The network is scheduled to be completed by April 2016.

Currently, the 80,000 residents of Za’atari camp receive water via water tankering from two existing wells, and about 35% is trucked from outside the camp.

Providing sustainable support to Syrian refugees

The operation of a third well, which is under construction, will mean that all water requirements will be managed from within the camp, reducing water tankering costs by almost half, and ensure better water quality control. Not only will the three boreholes provide sufficient water for the camp but it will also lessen the burden on the water resources outside the camp, which provides water for the community surrounding Za’atari camp. The third well at Za’atari camp will decrease and potentially eliminate the need for water to be trucked into the camp from neighbouring communities.

The shift from emergency water distributions to the construction of a sustainable water network in Za’atari camp reflects a more general shift in ACTED’s response from emergency relief to more sustainable support for Syrian refugees in Jordan, Lebanon and the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, for whom the perspective of returning to their home country grows ever more distant.