Press Release

9,500 people in Sinjar now have access to clean water thanks to USAID and UNDP partnership

20 September 2022

Sinjar, 20 September 2022 – The newly built Reverse Osmosis Water Treatment System in al-Qayrawan, Sinjar, has officially been opened with support from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Ninewa Governorate.

The newly built water treatment system will provide uninterrupted access to clean drinking water to over 9,500 people living in central al-Qayrawan, Sinjar. The purpose-built facility can treat over 100 litres of water per person daily.

Before this, people living in al-Qayrawan did not have regular access to clean water. They would purchase water in tankers from private companies. The expense and uncertainty of transporting water by road resulted in increased prices and a lack of quality control. In addition, during the ISIL conflict, water supply from the tankers was regularly interrupted, leaving people without clean drinking water.

The Reverse Osmosis Water Treatment system is self-sustainable and built to purify and desalinate groundwater. The project included building three water treatment stations strategically distributed across central al-Qayrawan to reach all households. Each station has a well, reverse osmosis plant, dispensing tanks and spigots to produce over 20,000 litres of water every hour.

The project was implemented through USAID and UNDP’s Funding Facility for Stabilization programme. Since 2015, USAID has contributed over US $400 million to the Facility, including over $10 million in Sinjar, making it the Facility's leading partner. To date, USAID has supported around 900 rehabilitation projects through the Facility, including ensuring services such as water, education, electricity and health are restored.

"The reopening of this water treatment system is an important milestone in the journey to rebuild Sinjar and recover from years of instability. Finding local and sustainable solutions such as this system is key to creating a safe and dignified environment for families choosing to return to Sinjar," says UNDP Resident Representative in Iraq, Zena Ali Ahmad.

"We would not be here today without the support of one of our founding partners, USAID. Together with USAID, we have made tremendous contributions to stabilization in Iraq. I would also like to recognize the strong partnership UNDP has with the federal government and local authorities, which enables us to implement such projects and ensure their sustainability," she adds.

UNDP is the leading implementer of stabilization activities in Iraq. To date, UNDP has completed over 3,300 stabilization projects across the liberated areas of Anbar, Diyala, Kirkuk, Ninewa, and Salah al-Din. The programme has assisted 4.95 million internally displaced people to return home.

Mrinalini Santhanam

Communications Specialist

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United Nations Development Programme

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