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Amman, April 23. How can people be encouraged to take an active role in conserving water? This question is of particular importance in a water-scarce country like Jordan. By hosting a „Water & Energy talk“ (WE talk) at Zajal Café Amman, the German NGO BORDA WesCA together with the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH provided a platform to share experiences and ideas on how to promote water saving in Jordan.
The event took place under the umbrella of the 60 Years of German-Jordanian Development Cooperation and was opened by Mrs Ulla Brunkhorst, Chargée d’Affaires a.i. of the German Embassy in Jordan, who highlighted the „deep and long-lasting partnership between the two countries“, and affirmed that „Germany is and will remain a strong partner at Jordan’s side“. Since 1959, both countries have worked intensively together to promote sustainable development in Jordan, with water being one of the focal areas.
Funded by the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), BORDA organized the event in collaboration with the GIZ project „Improvement of communal water efficiency through cooperation with religious authorities“. The project aims to promote water efficient behaviour in Jordan through recourse to religious argumentation. Thus far three sermons dealing with water saving have been held in more than 3500 mosques with an estimated audience of four million people. The project also cooperates with two of the evenings’ speakers, Hassan Sabaileh and Rania Ismail, who are promoting water saving through their famous TV characters as Zahl and Khadra.
All speakers at the event emphasized the manifold opportunities to save water in daily life: for example by turning off the tap while brushing teeth or by not letting water flow while washing the car. Elham Abadi, member of an organic farming cooperative in Bayoudah Village, stressed the importance of engaging rural communities in water conservation and spreading knowledge about sustainable farming methods.
Father Rifaat Bader, head of the Catholic Center for Studies and Media, said glorifying god and his creation is a basic religious principle, which must include to perceive water as a precious gift that has to be used judiciously. Dr. Hassan Abu Arqoub, Mufti of the General Ifta’ Department, stressed that religious leaders are not only responsible to raise awareness, but should also serve as role models for members of their communities.
Another highlight of the evening was a performance of Hassan Sabaileh and Rania Ismail, who approached the importance of water saving in a playful and entertaining way. In the concluding panel discussion, many participants took the chance to ask questions and share experiences. The lively exchange showed that events promoting sustainable behaviour have the unifying effect of bringing people with different backgrounds together to achieve a common purpose: to secure the water supply for Jordan in the future.