It is estimated that the average lifespan of a refugee camp is over 20 years, with refugees spending an average of 10 years living in a camp. As Jordan is one of the most water-scarce countries in the world, Ben says it was extremely important to push for long term, sustainable solutions.
UNICEF and partners built more than 3,000 septic tanks which collect wastewater from latrines and convey wastewater to an onsite treatment plant via a 125km network. Three, 500-meter-deep boreholes were also drilled to provide water directly to houses through a 300km water supply network.
“It has been a real success because we can control the quality of water and we can reach every household in the camp with their fair share of water,” Ben says, adding this is particularly important for female-headed households and families with children who have disabilities.
“At UNICEF, we don’t typically do construction projects of this size and complexity, but because of our leadership role in the humanitarian waste sector area and the trust we have from donors, we were able to implement these works in Za’atari.”
“...we can control the quality of water
and we can reach every household in
the camp with their fair share of water.”