Qatar Red Crescent Society (QRCS) officials at the work site.
Doha: With funding from the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs’ (OCHA) Syria Cross-border Humanitarian Fund (SCHF), Qatar Red Crescent Society (QRCS) has concluded the rehabilitation of irrigation projects in Afrin, northern Syria, to deliver irrigation water to over 19,000 hectares of agricultural lands and revitalize the population.
More than 70km of cement-lined irrigation canals across agricultural lands have already been rehabilitated, as the main lifeline that brings water. Jobs were created for the residents and internally displaced people (IDPs) there, by engaging them in day labor in rehabilitating the canals. Also, maintenance works were done to the pumping station building, three high-flow pumps, and the underground irrigation system.
Other activities included extending an electricity network to the pumping station, providing a high-voltage electrical transformer with control and distribution panels for operation, installing water meters and outlets in the farming lands, training the local community to run the station, and then hand it over to the Agriculture Chamber of the local council in the area.
This one-year project meets the critical needs of farmers, amid difficult living conditions in the northern parts of the country. Most of the major collective irrigation infrastructure have been destroyed as a result of the Syrian conflict, which led to the halt of agricultural activities and a sharp decline in agricultural production. The increased drilling of water wells caused lower groundwater levels and higher irrigation costs.
It is the fifth of its kind among the QRCS-led projects to rehabilitate infrastructure for large-sized and medium-sized irrigation facilities in northern Syria, with the aim of re-delivering irrigation water to the affected agricultural areas. This will help to boost agricultural production, create thousands of jobs for the population, enhance self-sufficiency, and encourage the farmers to take care of their agricultural lands, instead of looking for other sources of livelihood. The total number of beneficiaries is estimated at more than 25,000 people.