The Neighborhood Development Activity is flourishing and making a difference in Aqaba

15 February 2010

Recent News and activities

The Neighborhood Development Activity (NDA) is the first initiative in Aqaba to engage residents in identifying and addressing their own needs, and to involve them in development decision-making. Since launching the NDA in 2008, six neighborhoods have been mobilized to join the activity, and their citizen-selected representatives (called Neighborhood Enhancement Teams or NETs) are actively working with fellow residents to enhance their community.

Below is a newsflash on recent activities in our partner neighborhoods:

Al Radwan Neighborhood: The NET is implementing the long-term neighborhood development plan that they created with input from all community stakeholders. The top priorities in the plan include four components of a neighborhood street maintenance project. Street rehabilitation and lighting projects were completed in January 2010 with ASEZA support. The two other components are an awareness campaign for efficient water use with Jordan Royal Marine Conservation Society (JREDS), set to start in early March, and beautification of 2 blocks in partnership with Saraya Aqaba Company.

Al Rimal Neighborhood: The NET and ASEZA City Service Center began an “Awareness and Clean-up Campaign” in January 2010. To support this, the NET mapped neighborhood locations in need of clean-up (debris, trash, overgrown trees, pests) and raised awareness and interest in the clean-up campaign among citizens. In addition, the NET produced and distributed a brochure explaining the activities and advertising opportunities for neighborhood resident participation. As a result, 600 citizens of Rimal participated in Health and Environment awareness workshops and seminars in January and early February 2010. ASEZA City Service Center and local community members started removing large debris and trash from the locations indicated by the NET. The clean-up is expected to be complete in mid-February.

Old Town: The NET and Old Town citizens worked together with ASEZA and Clean City Company to clean the neighborhood after the severe storm and heavy rain caused damage and trash throughout the area in mid-January. Also the NET recruited neighborhood volunteers who mapped priority areas for a street lighting project which began in February.

Khazzan Neighborhood: Based on surveys, meetings and analysis, the neighborhood agreed that their highest priority is to establish a public park to provide a safe place for the kids to play. ASEZA allocated a 2.5 dunum piece of land for the park, and the NET is working with all partners to complete the park with playground equipment, pathways, trees, benches, and shades by the end of February.

North Shallalah Neighborhood: The NET and ASEZA Public Works began implementation of a general street maintenance and neighborhood beautification project. To support the implementation, the NET is mobilizing citizens living in the selected streets and other neighborhood residents to volunteer on the project.

Alamiya Neighborhood: ASEZA Public Works requested the NET’s assistance to engage neighborhood residents in a pavement upgrade project. The community provided input to select the highest priority locations and the project was completed with NET support in January 2010. The NET also worked with ASEZA City Service Center to begin implementation of a “pest control” project in early February 2010. The NET produced and distributed a brochure explaining the project and advertising activities that neighborhood residents could participation in. Additionally, the NET is collaborating with ASEZA and private sector partners to establish a public park in their neighborhood.

Having established strong reputations in their communities and in Aqaba as a whole, the NETs are now often approached by other public and private entities for help with outreach to the local citizens. Two recent examples are:

  • The Regional Manager of the National Company for Training and Employment met each Aqaba NET to introduce their project and request NET help to recruit unemployed, young men to participate in the next year-long training session.
  • Sabilet Al Hassan (a Jordanian youth program) approached the NETs seeking opportunities for their members to serve the community. As a result, 100 volunteers participated in two NDA projects: the Old Town clean-up and the Khazzan Park.