2010 Iraq: Rehabilitation of Sewerage Facilities In Select Facilities in Basrah City E3-13a
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The last couple of years have seen dismal resource allocation towards operation and maintenance severely undermining MMPW’s capacity to run even the basic Water and Sanitation operations and apply preventive maintenance. As a result a large number of water & sewage facilities including networks are in a state of disrepair. The investment needed in the sector is monumental requiring injection of substantial resources into the sector over the next few years.
In Basrah governorate, 42 per cent of the household have access to improved sanitation while only 28 per cent of households are connected to a sewage system. Conditions on the ground portray a much grimmer picture. Assessments conducted by UNICEF’s field monitors revealed that depleted and outdated material such as asbestos still compromise the majority of the sewer network in Basrah City. It is estimated that approximately 900 km of the sewer network extension is needed. Years of neglect have severely undermined the sewage treatment plants (STP), the 3600 cubic meter per hour capacity STP in Al-Hamdan is operating less than 40% of its rated capacity.
The developmental goal of the project was to strengthen the government’s capacity to protect public health by preventing disease outbreaks through enhanced access to improved sanitation in select locations in Basrah city.
The project under evaluation was funded under the UNDG-ITF at USD 1,526,844 and then revised to become USD 2,054,226. The original project duration was 12 months starting 8 March 2007 but was implemented over a period of 30 months and ended on 30 September 2009.
UNICEF’s main implementation partners were the Basrah Sewerage directorate, General Directorate of Human Resources and General Directorate of Sewerage/Ministry of Municipality and Public Works. Other forged partners included community leaders and labor workers who assisted in the implementation of project.
A total of 800,000 people in Basrah (40% of the 2 million Basrah center populations) benefited from the improvements that were implemented through this project by rehabilitating and improving access to sewerage networks in select locations in Basrah. In addition, government staff benefited from the capacity development programme, which was implemented as an integral part of the project.
The project was in line with the priorities identified in the National Development Strategy for Iraq, 2007- 2010 with regard to meeting the most urgent rehabilitation needs, training and capacity building. In addition, the project is expected to make a significant contribution towards attaining the Millennium Development Goals by reducing child mortality from communicable diseases and contribution to environmental sustainability.
The project under evaluation addressed the inadequacies in the sewerage infrastructure in select under-served locations in Basrah city, the project also contributed to strengthen capacities of Sewerage Authority staff in the proper management of sewerage systems to realize the full beneficial impact on the population. Approximately 800,000 inhabitants in Basrah city received enhanced access to improved sanitation through the rehabilitation of sewerage system in Al Muwaffaqiya and sewage treatment plant in Hamdan. Significant quantities of wastewater that was being discharged into the environment without adequate treatment is being treated thereby minimizing the adverse impact on the environment.
The project was in-line with the priorities identified in the National Development Strategy (NDS), 2005-2007 with regard to improving quality of life of the Iraqi people with special emphasis on water and sanitation. Also the project contributed towards attaining the MDG goals in particular to Goal # 4 = Reduce Child Mortality, Goal # 7 = Ensure Environmental Sustainability and Goal # 8 = Develop Global Partnership for Development
The evaluation concluded that the security situation did not affect project implementation. The main reason for delay was contractor’s non-compliance with the timeframe. Two contractors did not meet the set deadlines due to low financial capacity; UNICEF immediately reviewed the cases and terminated the contracts and replaced them with efficient contractors who finalized the works.
- Iraq is a resource-rich country both in terms of material and human resources .Consistent with the priorities identified in the National Development Strategy, The GoI should develop plans and allocate adequate funds under the development budgets of the next few years in order to implement projects to address the appalling environmental conditions in the sub-sectors of water ,sewerage and solid waste management especially in the deprived areas of the southern districts and other neglected rural areas in the country.
- The future sustainability and proper functioning of the projects implemented in close collaboration with UNICEF as well as any projects that will be implemented in the future, will be much dependent on allocation of the necessary funds to cover the running cost of the systems as well as on maintaining an effective system of preventive maintenance of the facilities and equipment. The concerned local water and sewerage authorities should look into it to ensure that these pre-requisites are met at all times.
- Public awareness and community participation are key elements in ensuring the proper functioning of water and sewerage systems. Illegal connections to the systems and dumping of solid waste into the drains often result in clogging and flooding into the streets and alleys. In addition to their offensive hazards, these malpractices are often the main reason for cross-contamination and spread of communicable diseases. UNICEF, Water & Sewerage Authorities should work closely with the MOH and mass –media to enhance public awareness on the importance of proper use of facilities as well as to build a sense of ownership among the served population.
- Institutional support for the local operating units and central planning and/or supervisory units for the purpose of establishing preventive maintenance and systematic analysis of losses including the installation of the corresponding measuring equipment (if possible, at the beginning of the project in order to gather and evaluate specific operational data) and of reducing administrative losses/illegal use should also be introduced in every project where these types of problems arise and corresponding systems are not yet in place.
- The concerned water and sewerage authorities should maintain an effective system for regular inspection of the condition of the public water/sewerage networks to detect any malfunctions, breakdowns or leakages and carry out the necessary repairs and maintenance works to prevent cross-contamination which is a main reason for the onset of water-borne disease outbreaks such as cholera, infectious hepatitis and diarrhea diseases.
- Technical assistance should be sought from UNICEF for enhancing the process of institutional capacity building of water and sewerage authorities, staff of public health laboratories and other national institutions involved in provision of basic water and sanitation services in the country
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