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Za’atari Refugee Camp, Jordan, 23 April 2015 – The Ministry of Water and Irrigation (MoWI) and UNICEF today launched the construction of a water distribution network in Za’atari refugee camp.

In addition to the mobile waste water treatment units launched last month, the operation of a water distribution network and a third borehole will drastically reduce operational costs, further promote the equitable use of WASH services for refugees in the camp, and conserve the environment.

“The three boreholes will provide sufficient water for the camp and will lessen the burden on the water resources outside the camp, which provides water for the community surrounding Za’atari camp,” said the Secretary General of the Water Authority of Jordan, MoWI, Eng. Tawfiq Habashneh.

Currently, the approximately 83,000 residents of Za’atari camp receive water via water trucking, with about 35% coming from outside the camp. The operation of the third borehole, constructed by Mercy Corps with UNICEF support, will result in all water requirements being managed from within the camp.

“This third well at Zaatari camp will decrease and potentially eliminate the need for water to be trucked into the camp from neighboring communities,” said Mercy Corps Country Director Robert Maroni. “Mercy Corps will continue efforts to ensure that all three wells provide optimum volumes of water adequate for all residents in the camp,” he added.

The water distribution network to the household level was conceptualized by the Za’atari Water Network Task Force led by Ministry of Water and Irrigation, Water Authority of Jordan and UNICEF, with technical support from the City of Amsterdam and UNHCR.

“ACTED is very pleased to be part of the Za’atari water network. Not only has the construction of a network with connections at household level never been done on this scale, more importantly, it will ensure more consistent delivery of safe and quality water to refugees,” said ACTED Jordan’s Country Director, Byron Pakula.

“Oxfam has been working with other agencies to set up tanks and deliver water to thousands of Zaatari residents in this water scarce area. Thanks to the new network, we will ensure that refugees have access to clean and safe water in an efficient and cost effective way, that it also respectful of Jordan’s environment,” said Oxfam’s programme manager, Andrew Boscoe.

The construction of the water network and the borehole is funded by Germany (implemented by KFW), United Kingdom, United States and the European Commission’s Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection department (ECHO).

“UNICEF is very grateful for the continued support from donors. We continue to innovate to reduce costs, sustain services and ensure that the most vulnerable children and families have access to basic lifesaving services. Providing clean water and safe sanitation is critical to the well-being of children and their families.” said the UNICEF Representative Robert Jenkins.

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