Resilience success in Basra: Thousands of IDPs and host community members to benefit from new water plant

Water plant opening Basra
The newly opened water plant provides job opportunities to support the livelihoods of IDPs and host community members in Basra. Photo: UNDP Iraq/2016

Basra, 2 February 2016 – “My family and I have been living in this area for a long time. It has been so difficult and expensive to obtain clean water for drinking or other purposes,” said Mr. Hussein Salim, a worker who lives in the neighborhood of the 5-Miles Camp for Internally Displaced Peoples (IDPs) in Basra. “With this project we will be able to come here and pay a reasonable price for our daily use,” he added, commenting on the opening of a new Reverse Osmosis (RO) water plant in the popular al-Asri market on 1 February 2016.

Highlights

  • “It has been so difficult and expensive to obtain clean water for drinking or other purposes,” said a worker who lives in the neighborhood of the 5-Miles Camp
  • The water plant project provides clean drinking water to all IDPs in the 5-Miles Camp and 130 host families
  • 150 jobs are created to support the livelihoods of women, men and youth from IDPs and host community

Managed by IDPs, this water plant was named Alamal, Arabic for hope. And it is yet another resilience success story. While the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) had already supported the Governorate of Basra with job skills and entrepreneurship through the newly established Souk, or market, in May 2015, amongst other projects, the water plant represents another milestone in this collaboration. 

"We now have more than 15,000 IDPs in Basra, who need all the available support from the UN and international partners to help them rebuild their lives,” underscored Mrs. Wameeth Alajwadi from the Governorate’s Committee for IDPs. “This project ensures that 700 IDP families and 1,000 families outside the camp will have sustainable access in the future." 

Run by the Canadian Aid Organization (CAOFISR) in close coordination with the local government, the project aims at creating temporary employment and capacity building for IDPs through the provision of clean water and access to both the IDP camp and the host community. 

”It will create 150 jobs to support the livelihoods of women, men and youth from IDPs and host community,” noted Head of CAOFISR, Mr. Majid Shamel. ”100 percent of IDPs in the camp will have access to clean drinking water, in addition to 130 host families, of which nearly 70 percent are women and children.”

Capacity building and vocational trainings in electricity and maintenance have been organized by CAOFISR to benefit more than 1,500 and ensure future maintenance and sustainability of the RO plant. “As IDPs, this great initiative addresses our need for job opportunities as well as access to clean water,” said Mr. Khalid Talib Shlash, an IDP from Shergat, Mosul. “I have been trained to run this plant and I am proud to work in this project.” 

“The establishment of the water plant, which we are inaugurating today, will help IDPs to restart their lives. It is pivotal for resilience building and the enhancement of social cohesion in the 5-Miles Camp and the surrounding host community,” said UNDP Programme Manager, Mr. Thair Shraideh.

 

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