Water scarcity has become more than just an inconvenience - It has become a life-threatening crisis. Finding alternative water supply solutions has become critical in Homs. The area, where the majority of the population rely on agriculture as their primary source of income, faces many challenges in accessing water where it is most needed.
As a response to these acute needs, Christian Hope centers focus shifted towards the communities in rural Homs, and with the support of the Polish aid Agency main wells in the area were equipped with solar panel systems to power the submersible water pumps needed to extract the water from the wells.
It aimed to rehabilitate and equip a main well that is located on an accessible property (one in each village) to provide a water source for all residents of the village for drinking water and for irrigation purposes; The approach mainly focused on equipping and rehabilitating existing water wells that required drilling work to reach water surface, especially that the low rates of precipitation led to a decline in groundwater reserves.
Also, installation of relevant equipment such as submersible pumps and installation of photovoltaic infrastructure and solar power systems to operate the submersible pumps and facilitate water extraction.
The project was implemented in partnership with the local churches to ensure the public use of the well and fair access of water to all village residents and farmers who will be able to use it for irrigation.
The project that was implemented in late 2022, has been a resounding success and has benefited a total of 675 farmers in Al-Hamra (100 farmers), Maamoura (200 farmers), Qattinah (200 farmers), and Aaliyat (175 farmers). The wells, now serve everyone in the area and have provided a reliable source of water for farming and household needs.
The wells that were supported in the four villages were a proprietary of the local churches which acts an important role in the local community providing local farmers and residence of their villages equitable access to these water resources.
Abp. Jean Abdo Arbash – Responible of the parish in Al Maamoura village stressed about the importance and vitality of this project and its crucial impact on the resilience of local communities saying: “This is a vital project, one that benefits our community and literally revives it. As a church we want our parishes to stay in their homelands, but in these difficult circumstances that we are going through, the lack of water increases the suffering of people and without it they will not be to resume their farming activity and sustain themselves, and thus they choose to leave this is why this project has high importance”
The need for alternative water supply solutions is becoming more and more crucial, especially in the absence of public water networks, 70% of which have been dysfunctional for a decade. The impact of drought and water scarcity is severe, particularly in rural areas where farmers rely on rainfall, making agriculture and livestock projects impossible. The dire situation has put millions of Syrians' access to water at risk, creating a humanitarian crisis. As a result, the project addressed the issue promptly and sustainably, with the aim of ultimately improving the future health and well-being of local communities.
Alternative clean power has emerged as the best solution in rural areas, offering not only environmental benefits, but practical advantages too. In Syria, 10% of the population relies on solar power to meet the energy demands of households, work, and agriculture. This solution is not only safe for the environment, but also requires less maintenance and is less costly compared to the fuel crisis in Syria.
As the situation of power supply and public water networks remain unsolved the need for water supply alternatives will become a priority and it will be a require all active parties to scale up their interventions to provide this essential Humanitarian right to all communities whether by responding to the acute needs or aiming to increase people’s resilience to water scarcity in Farm-based communities.