Qatar Red Crescent Society (QRCS) has concluded a project to enhance pure water accessibility for the population of Deir Hassan and nearby camps in Idlib Governorate, northern Syria.
It is an effective and sustainable intervention with $697,643 funding from the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).
Over 12 consecutive months, QRCS’s representation office in Turkey has been executing this project, which focused on repairing the water and sewage infrastructure in Deir Hassan and the camps of internally displaced people (IDPs).
The purpose of the project was to improve access to safe and potable water for both the residents and IDPs, thus reducing dependence on trucks to move water and boosting the local community’s resilience amid a prolonged humanitarian crisis.
This intervention matches the strategic goals of both the Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) Cluster and Camp Coordination and Camp Management (CCCM) Cluster. It is a significant WASH activity by OCHA in Syria, as it addresses the issue of non-dependence on drinking water transported by tanker trucks.
Faisal Mohamed Al-Emadi, Executive Director of Relief and International Development at QRCS, said, “The project meets the needs of IDPs in Deir Hassan and the camps of Abtin, Zamzam, Al-Rahma, Al-Ghab, Naseem Al-Rahma 1, Naseem Al-Rahma 2, and Ataa’, all located in the northern rural parts of Idlib”.
“Thanks to this vital project, 46,041 persons now have access to better-quality and adequate water,” said Mr. Al-Emadi. “The water supply system was repaired and rehabilitated, and water tanks were installed at camps. Moreover, sewage services are made available for 8,489 persons, after sewage systems and wastewater treatment plants were renovated to protect the environment”.
Under the project, water, sanitation, and capacity-building training was provided for representatives of 10 active organizations and national humanitarian authorities. According to him, the project solved many problems, mainly inadequacy and impurity of water, damage in sewage systems, lack of a cost recovery method to ensure water sustainability, and dependence on water tankers for years at the neighboring camps.
Among the activities done under the project were the rehabilitation of a water well in Deir Hassan, construction of a 150-m3 elevated water storage tank, operation of the village’s pumping station, provision of two power generators, linkage to wells, provision of all equipment, maintenance of water supply pipelines, and construction of camp water supply systems.
As a result, half of the town’s population and the camps’ 37,541 IDPs have access to drinking water.
In addition, 19 10-m3 water tanks were built in the camps, and the water supply system is being operated by QRCS for four months. Fuel, chlorine, and remunerations of the water administration staff are provided. They were also trained to operate and maintain the system.
An effective cost recovery method was created to ensure continuous water supply, and a water safety and staff training plan was developed. The town’s sewage system was rehabilitated to prevent water-borne diseases.