Workshop explores means to support water and sanitation solutions in Jalazone

Birzeit University’s Institute of Environmental and Water Studies (IEWS) held a workshop titled “Water and Sanitation Reality in Jalazone Refugee Camp” on October 17, 2019. This workshop is part of the project “WASSAR-Water and Sanitation Solutions to the Refugees: two cases from Jordan and Palestine,” implemented collaboratively between Birzeit University, Al-Balqa Applied University in Jordan, and IHE Delft Institute for Water Education in the Netherlands.

Rashed Al-Sa’ed, director of IEWS, said that the project aims to improve the living conditions of Palestinian refugees by increasing the water supply and providing better sanitation services. This comes in line with the institute’s mission to develop the skills of professionals working in the fields of environmental protection and water supply through education, training, and research in the framework of local and international partnerships, utilizing optimal practices.

Maher Abu-Madi, the project’s manager, assured that the project goal is to reach out to Palestinians who live in refugee camps, focusing on Al Jalazone, Palestine, and Jerash, Jordan. WASSAR tries to understand the challenges and improve the water conditions of these refugees who live under harsh conditions.

Abu-Madi pointed out that the project aims to reduce water scarcity, which is of heightened relevance because Palestinians face continuous violations of their rights by Israeli occupation agencies that impede their access to water resources. “Project phases include conducting a feasibility study of rainwater collection and harvesting and exploring wastewater treatment options and high-tech solutions to the reuse of wastewater as viable options to combat Palestine’s water challenges,” Abumadi explained.

The workshop included an in-depth discussion of the challenges that the water and sanitation sector faces in all refugee camps.