The Al Lajjoun Dam, in the governorate of Kerak, south Jordan, was inaugurated at the presence of Jordan’s Minister of Water and Irrigation Ali Al- Ghezawi and of the Italian Ambassador to Jordan, Giovanni Brauzzi. The dam aims to exploit the available water resources for agricultural and breeding activities in the area of Kerak. The storage capacity of the 27.7-metre-high dam is of 1 million cubic metres.
The project falls within the context of Italy’s commitment to support Jordan’s efforts to improve the Country’s water supply and sanitary system and was financed through the 16-million-euro Debt Swap Agreement signed by the two Governments on 22 May 2011. The agreement aimed to favour the transfer of know-how and technology in key sectors such as water management and public health.
To this aim, on 14 March 2016 the Debt-for-Development Swap Joint Management Committee approved the financing of two projects: the Al Lajjoun Dam, in the governorate of Kerak, for a total value of 6.2 million Jordanian dinars (corresponding to approximately 7.2 million euros), and the allocation of the remaining funds consisting 7.5 million Jordanian dinars (corresponding to approximately 8.7 million euros) to co-finance the enlargement of an existing dam at Al Waleh, in the Governorate of Madaba, with a storage capacity of between 9 and 25 million cubic metres of water.
The completion of these projects has paved the way for the second phase of the Programme, which aims to implement the commitment made by Italy at the London Donors Conference on 4 February 2016 that also provided for a 50-million-euro pledge for further Debt-for-Development Swaps to be negotiated at bilateral level between Italy, on the one hand, and Jordan and Lebanon on the other.