By Laila Azzeh

AMMAN – For the next three months, young Jordanians across the country will debate water policies and issues as part of a new awareness campaign.

The Kingdom’s water resources will be at the centre of a nationwide debate competition organised by the German Agency for Technical Cooperation (GTZ) and the Princess Basma Youth Resources Centre (PBYRC).

According to organisers, as part of the initiative, held under the theme “Our Water – Our Future”, youths between the ages of 15 and 16 will be trained in oratory skills, taken on field visits to water facilities and given the opportunity to meet national and international experts in the field of water.

“In our experience with previous debates organised by debate clubs in Jordan, children become very competitive and retain a lot of information about the theme of the debate,” Dalia Husseini, civic engagement programme officer at PBYRC, said during a press meeting on Tuesday.

The competition, which aims to mobilise youths to advocate for causes deemed critical to their future, will include young debaters from PBYRC Debate Clubs in Aqaba, Karak, Taybeh, Irbid, Sahab Ruseifa, Zarqa and Hashemi.

“The aim of the debate competition is to encourage critical thinking by introducing young debaters to the concept of debating and methods for efficient and effective water use,” said Dieter Rothenberger, programme manager of GTZ’s operations management support for the middle governorates water programme.

After a month of training on how to build and deliver an argument, debates will be held across the country until eight young debaters are selected, organisers said.

The eight teenaged debaters will then face off in a final competition in the first half of October, to be held as part of “German Week”, according to GTZ.

The water-debating skills training comes as a continuation of an earlier awareness-raising activity that was carried out by GTZ and local partners in Jordan.

“In order to secure the sustainability of past and current activities, younger generations need to be trained and sensitised to the pertaining issues,” Rothenberger pointed out during yesterday’s press meeting.

He noted that Germany extends 40 million euros annually to the Kingdom to support the water sector, adding that GTZ’s German-Jordanian Water Programme is directly linked to the Ministry of Water and Irrigation’s water strategy.

GTZ is an international enterprise for sustainable development with worldwide operations. Fully owned by the Federal Republic of Germany, it implements development projects on behalf of the German government.

The PBYRC, affiliated with the Jordanian Hashemite Fund for Human Development, was established in 2002 to activate the role of youths in Jordanian society. The centre works with young people aged 10-24 from all backgrounds and regions in Jordan.