Consultancy – Development of a Water Safety Plan for Telafar and Sinjar districts in Ninewa governorate At Terre des hommes

I. Background & justification

Terre des Hommes (Tdh) is a leading Swiss child protection Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) and has been present in Iraq since 2014. Throughout the last seven years, Tdh has scaled its programming to 12 districts in Anbar , Duhok , Kirkuk, Ninewa, Baghdad, and Salah al-Din governorates, providing assistance in Camp Coordination and Camp Management (CCCM), Child Protection (CP), Juvenile Justice, Education, and Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH). With the support of implementing partners, Tdh further operates in additional districts in its key governorates of intervention, as well as in two districts in Diyala Governorate. With over seven years of experience in Iraq, Tdh has set up an effective management structure headed by an international Country Representative, supported by a senior management team, stationed in Erbil, Baghdad, and each of the field offices. Tdh maintains field offices in Talafar District in Ninewa, in Anah district in western Anbar, in Shirqat district in Salah al-Din, in Kirkuk district in Kirkuk, and in Baghdad, with a full team on each base. Tdh is well known in the national humanitarian network and participates in coordination structures in all governorates of intervention. Tdh also regularly coordinates with Mukhtars, school headmasters, Directorates of Education, Water and Justice (DoE, DoW and DoJ), and other community leaders, to ensure information sharing and coordination.

Tdh WASH intervention supports the restoration of safe water supply through the rehabilitation of water supply infrastructures, including water treatment plants, water networks, and boreholes, as well as the rehabilitation of water supply facilities at schools and at healthcare facilities. In order to ensure the durability of the rehabilitation and sustained operation of the water supply infrastructure, Tdh’s WASH team also trains DoW operators in the appropriate operation of the facilities rehabilitated. All rehabilitation work aims at restoring the targeted water supply infrastructures to their planned operational capacity from prior to the conflict, so that they can easily be handed over to and sustainably maintained by local authorities, as opposed to introducing new technology and capacities. Moreover, Tdh comprehensively rehabilitated the WASH facilities at schools and at healthcare centers, including the rehabilitation of latrines and assistance for waste management activities. Furthermore, Tdh carries out school hygiene promotion sessions for children, hygiene promotion trainings for teachers and staff members to reinforce proper hygiene behavior in children, and door-to-door hygiene promotion sessions for households in the communities targeted by water supply infrastructure rehabilitation activities.

Though a 2 years funding from the Swiss agency for Cooperation and Development (SDC), Tdh has decided to focus on rural areas of Sinjar and Talafar where the overall access to safe water, sanitation, and related services is lower. In these rural areas there are depopulated villages with immediate needs for rehabilitation of local water supply infrastructure, household and institutional sanitation, and improved hygiene practices. Due to their current low population these villages are less likely to be prioritized for assistance. However, as mentioned, lack of access to basic needs and essential services, such as water, are also some of the key factors preventing returns according to several IOM-led returns assessments conducted with displaced populations. This was also clearly evidenced in the conversations that Tdh’s teams had with local stakeholders in its Needs Assessment. Tdh will collaborate with IOM to get gender disaggregated data from their continuous returnees’ assessment.

In Sinjar District and more remote rural areas of Talafar (Ninewa Governorate) the main source of water is from boreholes while the water source to the water networks system in Talafar city is the water treatment plan. Before the conflict, communal boreholes were drilled and maintained by the Directorate of Water (DoW), connected to chlorination systems and overhead water storage tanks, and then distributed by gravity through the water networks to households. However, during the conflict, many communal boreholes and water supply infrastructure were damaged by military operations. Most of the communal boreholes assessed are of low-quality construction, without slabs or sanitary seals, increasingly the vulnerability to contamination. In villages with no water network connections or functional communal boreholes, households have small boreholes within the household property. These are typically 20-25 meters deep (compared to depths of 100-200 meters for communal boreholes) and are also poorly constructed. According to the Tdh WASH team, the rock type in the area is highly permeable, further increasing the likelihood of contamination of unprotected boreholes.

Many villages in Sinjar District currently have no functional water network connecting households to boreholes at all.

The typical treatment practice for boreholes in Sinjar and Talafar is chlorination. However, the Directorates of Water frequently report difficulties in supplying chlorine, there is a lack of training water supply operators, and no water quality testing. Given the issues of the quality of borehole and water network construction, chlorination of water before distribution is essential to ensure safe water.

Overall, the quality of the groundwater in Sinjar is good and has lower levels of Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) than neighbouring districts. However, there are areas where the groundwater has high levels of TDS, making it undrinkable. In Talafar District the groundwater quality varies, with high TDS in some areas. Tdh will conduct targeted household water filters distribution. Where the TDS value is significantly higher than the acceptable WASH Cluster technical standard.

Community based governance structures, such as community committees, for water management in villages are uncommon, with only one of the 14 assessed villages in both Sinjar and Talafar reporting some form of community water management system. Communal infrastructure is typically managed solely by the operators – local people employed by the DoW to operate and maintain the water supply systems. However, community management is important to encourage communal responsibility for equitable supply and distribution of water, basic maintenance of the infrastructure, and preventing behaviours that compromise the quality of water for all (such as informal network connections). Such governance is especially relevant in rural and semi-urban areas where needs for water for agricultural uses can compete with needs of households for limited water resources.

Overall, a lack of community water governance structure inhibits the efficient and shared use of water resources and effectively excludes groups that have an important stake in water management from participation. Women are, generally excluded from such community discussions despite the fact that they are normally in charge of household water management.

The combination of the destruction/restructuration of water services by the war, climate change, population growth, limited environmental awareness effectively limits water resource management in Iraq leading to risks of limitation of the resource in terms of quality and quantity, which could result in major public health risks.

A water safety plan (WSP) is a plan to ensure the safety of drinking water through the use of a comprehensive risk assessment and risk management approach that encompasses all steps in water supply from catchment to consumer. Through this consultancy Tdh proposes to establish WSPs for Telafar and Sinjar districts in Ninewa governorate.

II. Objectif of the consultancy

The main objective of the current assignment is to develop, in collaboration with local stakeholders, a water safety plan for each of the Telafar and Sinjar districts and to promote ownership and implementation of these plans.

III. Suggested main steps for organizing the consultant’s work

Following WHO Water Safety Plan step by step manual, the working steps are proposed as follows:

  • Desk study: water resource status (quantity and quality), water multi-use, characterisation of water supply systems, operation and maintenance of drinking water systems and local governance.
  • Consultations with local authorities, presentation of the objectives of the consultancy, establish a working group with key local stakeholders.
  • Hazard assessment – identify hazards and hazardous events at every step of the supply chain.
  • Risk assessment – carried out a hazard affecting the water supply system.
  • Identify control measurements – identify control measures for every risk that is relevant.
  • Management control – control the system regularly and check for fails.
  • Validation monitoring – prepare to verify the monitoring check of WSP.
  • Stakeholders training.

IV. Final deliverables

  • 2 water safety plans (1 for Telafar district and 1 for Sinjar district) are produced by the consultant (minimum 30 pages per WSP excluding annexes).
  • 2 trainings (1 per district) of local authorities are prepared and conducted by the consultant
  • Assignment report.

V. Key competencies and qualifications of the consultant

  • Master’s degree in water related studies such as engineering, integrated water resource management (IWRM), geography, rural development, public health, hydrology.
  • Training on WSP.
  • First experience/participation in the development of WSP.
  • Excellent knowledge of the drinking water production systems used in Iraq and of the water management mechanisms in place.
  • Demonstrated track record in designing documents such as WSP.
  • Demonstrated track record in organising consultation and training with local stakeholders at district or governorate level.
  • Strong analytical and critical thinking skills.
  • Fluent in English AND Arabic.
  • Ability to work independently and respond to feedback in a timely and professional manner.
  • Priority will be given to a consultant of Iraqi nationality, but the consultancy remains open to candidates from neighbouring countries in the Middle East region subject to knowledge of the Iraqi context.

VI. Contract arrangements

The assignment is estimated at a total of 30-50 working days spread out within the period of July to October 2021.

The maximum amount of the consultancy is USD 16,000 including travel (air tickets if needed).

The accommodation of the consultant will be taken care of by Tdh according to the established schedule as well as local transportation (car).

Payment of consultancy fees will be done in two instalments:

  • 20% on signature of contract.
  • 80 % on completion and validation of all deliverables.

How to apply

Candidates are requested to submit the following documents:

  • 1 full CV presenting the various experiences of the candidate in relation to the terms of reference.
  • 1 financial proposal with daily fees and other costs if applicable (visa fees, air tickets).
  • 1 proposal for the fulfilment of the terms of reference including a description of the different stages of implementation and a timetable (minimum 3 pages)1 proposal of a working chronogram.
  • 1 sample of similar document produced.
  • 3 references with name, job title, and email address.

To apply, please send your offers with attachments to: with the subject of: Development of a Water Safety Plan for Telafar and Sinjar districts in Ninewa governorate, Iraq, Ninewa governorate no later than 29.June.2021.

Please do not send any additional documents, including diplomas and certificates. Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted and advance to the next stage of the selection process.

Terre des hommes offers equal working conditions for men and women. In addition, for candidates with equivalent qualifications and for positions of responsibility, female candidates are strongly encouraged. Terre des hommes’ recruitment and selection procedures reflect our commitment to the safety and protection of children.

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