By Hana Namrouqa – Feb 29,2016

AMMAN — Jordan and Germany on Monday signed agreements at a value of 32 million euros to improve water and wastewater services for communities hosting Syrian refugees in the northern and central regions.

Water Minister Hazem Nasser and German Ambassador to Jordan Birgitta Siefker-Eberle signed the two agreements, which aim at reducing the burden of hosting hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees on the water and sewage infrastructure.

Under the first agreement, a local contractor and a German consortium will construct a 20km wastewater pipeline to transfer sewage from west Zarqa pumping station to As Samra Wastewater Treatment Plant, Nasser said in a statement e-mailed to The Jordan Times, noting that the new pipeline will replace the existing worn-out one.

“The new pipeline will have the capacity to transfer 120,000 cubic metres of wastewater per day from the capital, Zarqa Governorate, Ruseifa District and east Amman. It will also transfer wastewater from areas where the sewage network is being extended, such as Shafa Badran in Amman and Dahiyat Al Amirah Haya in Zarqa…,” Nasser said.

The ministry’s spokesperson, Omar Salameh, told The Jordan Times that the agreement is worth 28 million euros, 90 per cent of which is funded by the German Development Bank (KfW) and the remainder by the Water Authority of Jordan.

He underscored that construction on the project is scheduled to end in 18 months.

“Meanwhile, the second agreement seeks to improve the water supply systems of Al Akeb wells in the Northern Badia,” Salameh highlighted.

A local contractor will be implementing the second agreement, under which 20km water pipelines will be established as well as a 4,000 cubic metre reservoir, Nasser said in the statement, noting that the project seeks to raise the water per capita share of host communities.

The project will cost JD4.4 million and is entirely funded by the KfW, according to Salameh.

Official figures indicate that since the Syrian crisis started nearly five years ago, demand for water in Jordan has risen by 21 per cent, while the annual per capita share dropped by 16 per cent.

The 2016-2025 National Water Strategy, announced in January, indicated that the per capita share dropped from 147 cubic metres per year to 123 cubic metres per year over the past five years.
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