PAP Highlights Social Impact of Water Scarcity 15/03/2012
As part of ECODIT's USAID funded Public Action for Water, Energy, and Environment Project (PAP), Jordanian bloggers, film-makers, radio hosts, and university environmental club members have set out to document the effects of water scarcity in rural communities. Participants interviewed residents in two of the communities most impacted by dwindling water resources, and they will work to develop stories through various articles, blogs, and videos which will be shared across social media outlets in conjunction with World Water Day events on March 22, 2012.
Among the poorest countries in terms of water availability, Jordan’s water crisis has been further exacerbated in recent years and will continue to grow as a result of climate change, population growth, and increased water demand. In some areas, overpumping of aquifers has led to dried up springs, requiring communities to adapt to limited resources or relocate. This projects aims to create a public dialogue on the impacts of water scarcity on Jordan’s communities and what measures may be taken to ensure a prosperous future.
PAP Supports New Museum Exhibit12/01/2012
ECODIT's USAID funded Public Action for Water, Energy, and Environment Project (PAP) signed a $1.4 million agreement with Roto Studio for the concept, design, and construction of a permanent exhibit at the Children’s Museum Jordan. This interactive exhibit will highlight issues related to the water and energy crises facing Jordan, and will focus specifically on water and energy use in the home and how individual behaviors impact local communities and Jordan as a whole.
This exhibit serves to challenge children’s misconceptions about water and energy in Jordan, heighten awareness of Jordan’s critical water and energy situation, and display the consequences of immediate actions on the future of Jordan’s environment. Its aim is that children will not only learn from the exhibit, but will become agents of change in their communities, advocating for the efficient use of energy, reduced water consumption, and concern for the environment.
Roto Studio’s winning concept utilizes a place-based learning model, which emphasizes the unique history, environment, culture, economy, literature, and art of a particular place. This design concept will allow children to explore their own communities, to stimulate their inventiveness and curiosity, and help mold them into the environmentally-conscious citizens that Jordan’s future will need.
PAP National Communication Strategy launched!
On February 1, 2011, ECODIT's USAID funded Public Action for Water, Energy, and Environment project (PAP) presented a Communication Strategy for achieving Behavioral and Policy changes in the Water, Energy, and Solid Waste Sectors. The strategy outlines the most important behaviors that need to be changed by citizens, policy-makers and the private sector if Jordanians are to continue living comfortable and productive lives.
Jordanians are beginning to feel the devastating and tangible effects of the country’s impending resource crisis. This past summer Jordanians faced power cuts as the country sweltered under severe heat waves; this coming summer the consequences of the driest winter the country has faced in 12 years means more water shortages. “We all need to examine our behavior and adapt to accommodate the reality of our dire water situation, limited energy resources, and the storage and contamination problems presented by increasing amounts of waste that our society produces. Many people don’t know how. This Strategy document uses communication and social marketing to show people how we can achieve greater efficiency in our use of these resources" says Mona Grieser, PAP's Senior Social Marketing and Communication expert.
The Strategy is the result of significant research and participatory discussions with over 280 concerned individuals representing NGOs, Government, the private sector and industry. It is a people-centered approach that first looks at the needs of Jordanian citizens. The Chief of Party for PAP, Dr. Amer Jabarin explains, “Other countries with a great deal more water and energy than Jordan are already taking steps to address such environmental concerns as global warming and climate change with communication programs to inform and educate their citizens. Jordanian decision-makers should take note.” He adds, “The assumption underlying this Communication Strategy is that Jordanian institutions should employ systematic behavior change methodologies such as social marketing, to achieve national conservation and efficiency goals; we’ve looked ten and fifteen years into the future and tried to estimate what our needs would be as we grow and evolve as a country. If we plan now, we’ll not be unpleasantly surprised in the future”.
Session attendees, and future partners’ for the Public Action Program, come from civil society bodies, service utilities, government agencies and agencies that de-facto regulate water and energy use such as the Ministry of Housing and Public Works, the Engineering Association, and Municipalities, and other donor projects. While many competent organizations exist among these potential partners, PAP is proposing within the strategy, a capacity building component to support the long-term communications and social marketing professionalization of those working at such agencies through training, guided practice and establishment of a Social Marketing Diploma Program.
Shobak Wastewater Treatment Plant InaugurationAugust 9, 2010
The Shobak Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) was inaugurated on August 9th, 2010 by H.E. the Jordanian Minister of Water & Irrigation, Eng. Mohammad Al-Najjar and the USAID-Jordan Mission Director, Mr. Jay Knott. This low-tech. WWTP is designed to receive on average 350 m3/d of wastewater (septage) from cesspits brought in by tanker trucks, and will serve the Municipality of Shobak and neighboring municipalities (particularly Qadissiyeh and Husseiniyeh) - benefiting around 30,000 people. In addition to protecting precious water resources, the WWTP will achieve savings estimated at USD 100,000 from reduced septage transport costs. It is the first of two WWTPs to be constructed under the USAID-Funded Wastewater Treatment Facilities for Small Communities in Jordan. ECODIT is the lead implementing consultant for this activity under a sub-contract with IRG. This is also the first WWTP to be operated and maintained by a municipality in Jordan, and is considered a great step in the direction of “decentralization”; the result of two years of negotiation efforts lead by ECODIT, which culminated in the signing of a 20-year agreement between the Ministry and the Shobak Municipality. ECODIT will also support the municipality during the first year of operation and maintenance.