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UNOPS, Japan renovate 73km water distribution network in Irbid

Yarmouk Water Company to operate renovated network

By JT - Aug 23,2020 - Last updated at Aug 23,2020

AMMAN — The Ministry of Water and Irrigation has received an approximately 73km long renovated water distribution pipeline network in the Hawwara District in Irbid from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and UNOPS.

According to a UNOPS statement, the renovated water network is part of the grant aid project “Urgent Improvement of Water Sector for the Host Communities of Syrian Refugees in Northern Governorates in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan [Phase 2]” implemented by JICA in partnership with UNOPS.

The Yarmouk Water Company (YWC) will operate the completed network, the statement noted. 

According to the statement, the government of Japan funded $21.6 million for the entire project.

The project aims to improve quality of and access to water supply services to approximately 70,000 population in the region, including Syrian refugees making effective use of Jordan’s scarce water resources by renovating and rehabilitating water networks laid in the 1970s, the statement said.

The project is currently undertaking restoration of the main networks in Sarieh District and house connection works that will allow households in Irbid to receive a “steady supply” of water. The project is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2022.

Water Minister Raed Abul Saud said in the statement:  “The project will increase efficiency of the networks and improve access to water in Irbid. I appreciate the continuous support from the government and people of Japan to the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, especially to the water sector. This support has clearly contributed to alleviating the impact of the influx of Syrian refugees and also enhancing the capabilities of the YWC.”

 Japan’s Ambassador to Jordan Hidenao Yanagi said in the statement: “Japan highly appreciates the generous hospitality of the government and people of Jordan to receive so many refugees from Syria and continued its contribution to support the host communities in Jordan.”

“As the water sector is one of Japan’s priorities in the development assistance in Jordan, we have especially supported improvement of the water sector in the northern governorates since 2014, when the previous Phase 1 project started with a $22.4 million grant. I am glad that we can see the completion of parts of this project when the demand for water is growing due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” the ambassador said.

 The envoy expressed appreciation for “dedication and cooperation” in this project by related authorities including the Water Ministry, UNOPS and the JICA, expressing hope that the project would contribute to further development of the region and the entire country.

Chief Representative of JICA Jordan Office Miyahara Chie said in the statement:  “I would like to highly appreciate the hard work given by all the concerned agencies and UNOPS as well as understandings and cooperation of the people in Irbid [Hawwara/Sarieh] during the difficult time of the COVID-19 pandemic. I hope it can be well maintained to continuously serve the people for many years to come.” 

General Manager of the YWC Muntsr Al Momani, said in the statement: “The project will improve the YWC to find solutions for water supply to Hawwara and Al Sarieeh areas in Irbid.  The old network has been a cause of major imbalances to serve the project area. The YWC appreciates our friends in Japan for their support to the YWC and Jordan.”

 “We are very proud to celebrate this key milestone of our first partnership project with JICA in the Middle East region. This initiative ties in with Japan’s support to Jordan’s sustainable economic growth and Jordan’s development agenda, aiming to improve access to safe water by utilising UNOPS expertise in infrastructure and project implementation. We hope that the remaining activities of the project and our continuous collaboration with all partners including the government of Japan, the JICA and the MWI [ the Ministry of Water and Irrigation] will contribute to Jordan’s dedicated efforts towards sustainable development and improved quality of life for all,” said Muhammad Usman Akram, Director of UNOPS Operational Hub in Amman in the statement.

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