The Every Drop Matters project in Iraq focussed on improving piped drinking water access to Basak village

Revitalising village life with clean water

Basak is a small village located in a mountainous region in of Sharbazher District, northeastern Iraq, with an estimated population of 143 villagers across 26 households. The people of Basak are impoverished, and had a particularly dire water situation, living off just 7 litres per capita per day. The water supply system was leaky, poorly maintained and very inefficient. In the village, there was only one public tap, originally intended to serve five to seven houses, which could not meet the villagers’ needs. Women had to fetch water from distant and often polluted rivers, ponds, and streams on a daily basis, carrying water-borne diseases back with them.

The EDM project provided a new water supply system in Basak village, and increased per capita water access to 167 liters per day. A key success of the project was the demonstration that it could be implemented in a remote mountainous location.

This gives a clear example for future actions to improve water supply and local livelihoods in similar villages across Iraq. With strong community leadership and modest seed funding, people can improve their living conditions dramatically in communities that may be remote but not should not be out of reach.


  • Provided a new water supply system in Basak village, serving a community of 143 people
  • Increased per capita water access from 7 to 167 liters per day
  • Reduced incidence of water-borne diseases and improved attendance in schools
  • Established a village water committee to manage the water network
  • Initiated new networks for sharing knowledge on water management between villages
  • Provided training in plumbing for women in leak detection and maintenance

Project details

Title: Water management at the community level in Basak village
Implementation period: 2012-2013
Implementing agency: Kurdistan Reconstruction & Development Organization (KURDO)
Location: Basak Village, Iraq
Budget: 86,177 USD (EDM: 74,975 / Co-financing: 13,752)

Partners and contributors

  • Kurdistan Reconstruction and Development Organization
  • Basak Village Community
  • UNDP Iraq