By Hana Namrouqa

AMMAN – Although school-age children in Jordan are aware of the country’s water and energy scarcity, they do not take action to change their consumption patterns of the two precious resources, experts in the field said on Wednesday.

To this end, an interactive exhibition will be established at the Children’s Museum of Jordan (CMJ) with the aim of educating children between the ages of six and 12 years about water and energy conservation and urge them to rethink their behaviour.

Under an agreement signed yesterday between the USAID-funded Public Action in Water, Energy and Environment Project (PAP) and the Children’s Museum, PAP granted the museum $1.767 million for the establishment of the interactive exhibition.

The 428-square-metre exhibit will be open for visitors in 2013, offering interactive models that allow children to physically and intellectually explore water and energy concepts, such as the water cycles and energy generation in Jordan, according to officials.

PAP Chief of Party Amer Jabarin said research conducted by the project indicated that although children are aware of the shortage of water and energy in the country, their behaviour does not reflect conservation of the two resources.

“The exhibit will address this gap by giving the children the chance to do it in an interactive way,” he said yesterday during the signing ceremony.

Exhibition visitors, including children, parents and teachers, will be exposed to the science behind water and energy issues, Jabarin noted, highlighting that it aims at raising their awareness on water and energy conservation, alternative energy resources and the impact of solid waste at the local and global environment.

Meanwhile, USAID Deputy Mission Director Mark Parkison underscored the importance of the exhibit in changing the way of thinking, not only of children, but all segments of society.

“The exhibit will help send messages about conserving natural resources… and create a generation that embraces public action,” he said yesterday.

Water and energy conservation in Jordan is a top priority, which necessitates building awareness among the younger generation on practices that cut down on their use of the two resources, according to CMJ Director General Sawsan Dalaq.

“The museum’s role as an interactive educational and entertainment centre will… encourage children to adopt the right practices in energy and water issues in Jordan,” she noted.

Jordan is categorised as the fourth water poorest nation in the world. The annual water per capita share stands at 145 cubic metres, which is well-below the international poverty line of 1,000 cubic metres, according to official figures.

The Kingdom also imports more than 97 per cent of its energy needs.