Regional Seminar on Improved wastewater services for rural and semi-urban areas
05 November 2013 | Article
A regional seminar on ‘Decentralized Wastewater Treatment and Reuse’ was launched on the 3rd of November 2013 funded by the EU and the German Government in cooperation with Al Balqa Applied University (BAU), German International Cooperation (GIZ) and IUCN ROWA.
The one-week event gathers policy-makers from the water, environmental and agricultural sectors of four different MENA countries with the aim of introducing approaches to improve wastewater services in rural and semi-urban areas but also to enable a regional exchange among policy-makers from these countries.
The southern Mediterranean region is experiencing increasing water shortages. This situation is exacerbated by climate change impacts as well as rising water demand resulting from growing populations and expanding economic sectors in the region’s countries. The safe use of non-conventional water resources offers viable options for sustainable solutions. Non-conventional water resources can include amongst others rainwater, treated wastewater or desalinated brackish water. These resources provide a much needed alternative to overly-exploited freshwater sources. Their management can in turn help address health hazards and environmental pollution caused by insufficient service provision and infrastructure related to wastewater management.
In fact, in Jordan, only 63% of the population is connected to the central wastewater network. This leaves a significant amount of the population, especially in rural and new development zones of cities without this service, leading often to the usage of inadequate solutions with possible negative effects on the environment and public health.
With funding from the EU and the German Government, the ‘SWIM Sustain Water MED’ project aims to address this situation with targeted pilot projects in Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt and Jordan.
The reuse of treated wastewater still faces considerable amount of skepticism or even opposition from targeted ‘user’ groups. This can be traced back to weak/failing infrastructure on one hand but also to a lack of general knowledge and awareness on the other hand. It is therefore important to not only support the development of a favorable policy framework but also to engage with effected populations and to include them in important project decisions and steps as well as develop their managerial and operation&maintenance capacities. Stakeholder participation, outreach work and capacity development measures are therefore integral components of the project.
The aforementioned seminar, organized and implemented by the Balqa Applied University (BAU) in close cooperation with the German International Cooperation (GIZ) and IUCN the International Union for Conservation of Nature , Regional Office for West Asia (IUCN ROWA) is a key aspect of the project. It is designed to provide policy-makers from Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt and Jordan with theoretical and practical overview of the principles, technologies, and benefits of decentralized wastewater treatment and reuse (DWWTR). On top of this, field visits to the Jordanian pilot project at the Public Security Directorate (PSD) in Moqablane (near Amman) will consolidate this information with a real-life case study and allow participants to engage in active exchanges about experiences and policies in their respective countries.
for more information,
kindly contact Mr Sameeh Neimat - Project Coordinator - SWIM