Khor Al Zubair Water Treatment Plant Inauguration – UNDP-UNICEF Project Funded by the Netherlands

June 1, 2023

Basra, Iraq – A significant milestone has been reached in response to the water crisis in Basra with the inauguration of the Khor Al Zubair water treatment complex under the Joint Programme "Providing Safe Drinking Water to Basra's Population-Iraq". The complex provides clean drinking water to around 100,000 residents of Al- Zubair, Safwan, and Um Qasr sub-districts.

The inauguration ceremony was attended by UNDP Iraq's Resident Representative, Auke Lootsma, along with the Deputy Governor of Basra, Mr. Mohammed Taher Al-Tamimi, and the Mayor of Khor Al-Zubair, Mr. Abbas Maher, and Government of Iraq senior officials, including the Director of Water Department and other representatives of the local government.

Implemented by UNDP and UNICEF, this ambitious project, funded by the Netherlands with a budget of US $505, 296.50, aims to alleviate the pressing water scarcity crisis that has severely hit the Basra governorate due to aging water infrastructure and heightened salinity levels.  The project included several key initiatives including supplying and installing new high and low lift water pumps at Khor Al Zubair and Um Qasr, conducting comprehensive maintenance of civil, electrical, and mechanical components at Khor Al Zubair's low lift pump station, and ensuring complete maintenance of water pumps in Safwan. Other initiatives include constructing a new central workshop and operations room. These priority projects have been identified by the Directorate of Water in Basra.

"We acknowledge the urgency of the water crisis in Basra, and the inauguration of this programme marks an important step in our concerted efforts to ensure safe drinking water for the population. We appreciate the support of the Dutch government and the robust partnerships that have made this project a reality," said Auke Lootsma, UNDP Iraq's Resident Representative.

The project, aligned with UNSDC's Strategic Priority #4: Promoting Natural Resource and Disaster Risk Management, and Climate Change Resilience, seeks to rectify the region's dilapidated water facilities and provide sustainable solutions to perennial water shortages.

The Dutch Ambassador to Iraq, Mr. Hans Sandee said, “The Netherlands is committed to supporting international efforts to improve access to safe drinking water, a basic human right. We are proud to be part of this crucial project, which will go a long way in mitigating the water crisis in Basra.”

This project's inauguration marks a significant step forward in the commitment to ensure access to safe water for all, contributing to the prosperity and stability of Basra. This joint project in Iraq is an integral part of the broader efforts by the UN and the global community to combat water scarcity and promote sustainable development.