Mass Outreach Program in Zarqa Promotes Water Management and Women’s Empowerment

September 07, 2016
Funded by the U.S. Government
The Millennium Challenge Account – Jordan (MCA-Jordan) celebrated today the successful completion of the Water Smart Homes - Activity (WSHs-A), which targeted thousands of households in Zarqa Governorate to improve the condition of their home water systems. The activity is part of a $275 million water and sanitation compact funded by the U.S. Government’s Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC). 

Through a comprehensive outreach campaign, the activity helped raise awareness of best residential water management practices to maintain water quality and quantity within homes. It also included offering direct assistance to 4000 poor households in Zarqa Governorate by improving water and wastewater systems inside their homes. Much of the implementation of this activity was conducted by women-led organizations – reflecting the fact that women play an essential role in the water resource management and conservation in Jordan.

The closeout ceremony for the Water Smart Home Activity was held in Amman under the patronage of Minister of Water and Irrigation H.E. Dr. Hazem Al-Nasserand U.S. Ambassador to Jordan Alice G. Wells. The event was also attended by representatives from government, donor communities, the private sector, and civil society.    

Recognizing that water scarcity impacts every aspect of life, the U.S. Government’s Millennium Challenge Corporation and the Jordanian Government in 2010 entered into a 5-year compact agreement to manage and implement water and wastewater projects in Zarqa Governorate.  The projects began in 2011 with the goals of reducing poverty and enhancing economic growth. The projects included 1,100 km of water and wastewater piping, building a new pump station, replacing 50,000 water meters, and expanding As-Samra Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP). 

For her part, U.S. Ambassador to Jordan Alice J. Wells said "The United States, through the Millennium Challenge Corporation, is proud to partner with Jordan to achieve greater water security, not just by investing in infrastructure, but by doing so in a way that promotes gender equity and social inclusion."

MCA-Jordan Chief Executive Officer Eng. Kamal Zoubi expressed pride in the achievements WSHs-A has accomplished to improve the lives of some of the poorest families in Jordan and to empower citizens to manage resources. He added, “This celebration is a great opportunity for donors, stakeholders and community members to take a deeper look at WSHs-A, at what aspects made it successful and how these aspects may be incorporated into future development achievements to ensure similar success and sustainability.”  

The $6.5 million WSHs-A achieved its objectives through three vital components: improving the home water systems of the poor, empowering women, and promoting in-home water management across the Governorate.

The first component improved home water systems in around 4,000 poor households in Zarqa Governorate that are beneficiaries of the National Aid Fund (NAF).    

The second component helped 30 women develop their professional skills in plumbing and household water maintenance in order to assist them in creating their own income-generating activity. 

The third component included an awareness campaign carrying the slogan “By Water We Live… We Preserve it to Survive,” that reached more than 60,000 people in Zarqa Governorate. The campaign encouraged citizens to take a more active role in the management and conservation of their in-home water resources.