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Improving access to water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) in Syria

In Syria, people are facing a serious water crisis due to a lack of safe water. Damages to infrastructure affects how water systems function and deliver water to homes. As a result, more than half of the population resort to unsafe water sources, like wells instead of piped water.

Water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) are linked in many ways. Poor hygiene, inadequate access to clean drinking water, and lack of sanitation facilities cause people to die from preventable diseases each year, and children are particularly affected. 

The continued spread of cholera, for instance, is closely linked to the deteriorating situation in the WASH sector. A staggering 1.1 million individuals in northwest Syria urgently require WASH assistance following the devastating earthquakes in February 2023, including services like septic tank desludging, latrines construction, repair and rehabilitation, water trucking, water and sewerage networks infrastructure rehabilitation, and hygiene kit distribution. 

In close collaboration with local partner organizations, we are working to ensure that the right to water and sanitation can be fully enjoyed by everyone.

For two consecutive years, a prolonged drought and the low water level of the Euphrates River have plunged Syria into a severe water crisis. This is impacting both the quantity and quality of water, leading to overuse of the limited groundwater. Alongside poor sanitation and hygiene practices, the decline in water quality is directly increasing health risks. Waterborne diseases, particularly AWD/cholera, are on the rise, affecting the well-being and protection of households. To make matters worse, a significant amount of sewage is being released without treatment, and many sewerage systems are not working properly. This poses a direct risk to water sources, making them unsafe for consumption and leading to the contamination of water bodies, which has serious implications for both public and environmental health.

The water crisis in Syria, fueled by environmental factors and inadequate infrastructure, has created a multifaceted challenge. It is crucial to address not just the scarcity of water but also the declining quality, along with the associated health risks, to safeguard the well-being of the affected population and ensure the sustainable management of water resources in the region.

We aim to reduce the risk of communicable diseases, improve hygiene practices, and increase the resilience of internally displaced people by providing dignified access to essential WASH services.  

  • Provide clean water to displaced people.
  • Distribute hygiene kits to families.
  • Provide maintenance and repair of sanitary facilities.
  • Solid waste management.
  • Construction and repair of public latrines in camps.
  • Repair and rehabilitation of the water networks, sewerage infrastructure and water tanks.
  • Septic tank cleaning.
  • Water trucking.

Country info

Capital: Damascus
Area: 185,180 km²
Population: approx. 22.13 million

Project data

Financing: German Federal Foreign Office (GFFO), Germany's Relief Coalition (ADH)

Partner: Turkish Red Crescent Society (TRCS), Bahar

Duration: January 2023 - September 2024

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