A new water treatment plant on the banks of the Tigris River will provide clean drinking water for more than 50,000 Iraqis at the Qayyarah Airstrip Emergency Site, the Danish Refugee Council (DRC) said on Thursday.
The plant, currently under construction, is supported by UNICEF and EU humanitarian aid and will provide both emergency and long-term solutions for the current water crisis stemming from military operations in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul, which has so far resulted in the displacement of more than a half million people.
‘The majority of water treatment plants along the Tigris have been destroyed in fighting over the last several years, leaving vulnerable populations with only access to raw, untreated river water,’ said Thomas Wilson, Coordinator for DRC’s Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) programme.
‘We decided to build a new treatment plant to provide clean drinking water to the camp and host community as a way of providing an immediate and longer-term solution.’
Located some three kilometers east of the Airstrip, the treatment facility – a compact design of traditional plants – can provide up to 200 cubic metres of water (200,000 litres) per hour for camp residents, greatly increasing both the quantity and quality of drinking water.
DRC has worked with authorities and engineers from the local water directorate to design and build the treatment plant as both a response to the current humanitarian emergency and a longer-term, durable solution for water provision in the area.
After the construction of a connecting pipeline to the Airstrip, the treatment plant will more than triple the current provision of clean drinking water to residents.
‘With the arrival of summer, water consumption across Iraq will spike and we are now in a better position to provide enough water per person in the Airstrip,’ Wilson added. ‘This will help mitigate the outbreak of diseases like cholera, which is endemic across the country.’