Jun 11,2016

AMMAN — One refugee costs Jordan JD500 every year for water and wastewater services, Water Minister Hazem Nasser said on Saturday.

Nasser made these remarks at a meeting with UNICEF Representative to Jordan Robert Jenkins to announce a JD2 million UNICEF grant to finance projects in the Northern Badia and Ajloun areas to improve water provision, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported.

Around 1.3 million Syrians currently live in Jordan, according to the 2015 population census. Of these, some 655,217 are registered as refugees with the UNHCR, according to the agency’s website.

With the majority of refugees living outside camps, demand on water in the entire Kingdom has risen by 22 per cent, the minister said.

In the northern region, where the majority of refugees are present, demand on water has risen by 40 per cent, according to Nasser.

These factors have pushed the ministry to cooperate and follow up with UNICEF to enhance water services in the northern regions and in areas near the Jordanian-Syrian border, as well as Ajloun, said Nasser.

He added that these projects have to be implemented immediately, including drilling a new well in Ruweished with a capacity of 80 cubic metres per hour at a cost of some JD106,000, in addition to rehabilitating Ruweished 2 Well, which has a capacity of 20 cubic metres, at a cost of JD21,000, Petra reported.

The projects will be funded by UNICEF.

Nasser said that despite all regional circumstances, Jordan has adopted strategic solutions to address water challenges, noting that work is under way to embark on water projects with permanent solutions to water scarcity in the Kingdom.

For his part, Jenkins praised the Jordanian efforts in hosting Syrian refugees, expressing the international community’s and UNICEF’s appreciation of the government’s work to serve refugees, stressing the organisation’s readiness to assist Jordan in its efforts to develop the water sector.