Local News

Karak dams are exhausted…and farmers: mismanagement

Amman Today

publish date 2021-11-21 12:14:37

The compass – gives the dryness of the three water dams located in the Karak governorate, which are: Al-Mujib with a capacity of (29) million cubic meters, the Karak Valley dam with a capacity of two million cubic meters, and the Lajjun dam with a capacity of one million cubic meters, and a storage capacity of those dams combined (32) million cubic meters, an indication of the difficult situation The agricultural sector in the governorate, as a situation that increases in severity from day to day and will reach its climax if the current rainy season does not bring enough rain to fill the dams that irrigate thousands of acres of agricultural land in the region.

This infuriated the farmers, who are calling on the government to take urgent measures to address the problem whose perpetuation will cause severe damage to their agricultural work, which is their only source of livelihood, in addition to the damage that this entails to the national economy and the deprivation of citizens from a basic food basket.

At a time when the Jordan Valley Authority, in previous statements, attributes the reasons for the dryness of the dams to the scarcity of the last rainy season, as only modest amounts of rain water entered the dams, especially the Mujib dam as the largest dam in the Karak governorate, and the third important dam at the level of the Kingdom, which uses its stock for many purposes for drinking and agriculture. For industrial purposes, and decided to stop its use since last August after studying its reality, as the authority, in cooperation with the Jordanian armed forces, began removing the sediments and silt found in it, estimated at about half a million cubic meters. It contributed to the dryness of the dam, as they say, including what they described as mismanagement of the dam’s water and the excessive depletion of its water without regard to climatic variables, in addition to the fact that the failure to clean the dam’s floor from time to time led to a rise in the level of silt and sediments, which reduced its storage capacity.

The farmers and those concerned consider that the use of artesian wells as a treatment for the problem of the dam’s drought will not contribute much to encircling the problem due to the limited water of these wells, while the decline of their stock leads to affecting their water efficiency and the high salinity in them due to the lack of additional water shipment due to the poor successive rainy seasons.

Farmers in the Mujib Dam area, in whose name the farmer Sultan al-Amr spoke, describe the agricultural situation in their area as difficult, as a result of the drought of the dam, which is the main source of irrigation for their farms with an area of ​​(1500) dunams owned by about (30) farmers whose fruits of vegetables and tree crops constitute their main source of livelihood. This gave up many of the region’s farmers for their basic profession, while others were forced to reduce the areas they were cultivating.

Al-Amr pointed out that the scarcity of irrigation water has led to a decrease in the productive agricultural quantities, noting that the Minister of Agriculture’s directive to allow them to use the well belonging to the ministry and another to the Water Authority to irrigate crops is an appropriate solution, but it does not meet the need, calling for the official authorities concerned to dig more wells. And allocating them for irrigation, as well as helping farmers to dig wells, even collectively.

The head of the Jordanian Farmers Union branch in Karak, Ismat Majali, called for legalizing the use of the Mujib dam’s water, a large part of which goes to industrial purposes, to serve the agricultural sector in the governorate, expand the drilling of wells, and abolish the three thousand fees that farmers wishing to dig wells must pay. Dinars, which reduces the cost of digging a well, which sometimes exceeds (14) thousand dinars.

The impact of the drought of the Mujib Dam, in addition to the agricultural and industrial sectors, affected drinking water, as it allocated 500 cubic meters per hour of the dam’s water after treatment, to provide drinking water subscribers with it in many areas of north Karak, according to the Director of Karak Water, Engineer Samer Maaytah, The use of the dam’s water for this purpose has been stopped since last year, which called on the Karak Water Directorate to secure the areas with drinking water from other sources, pointing to the direction of the Water Authority to dig wells in the vicinity of the dam and pump it to the desalination plant already located in the vicinity of the dam, to dispense with the water that was pumped from the dam.

It is noteworthy that the Minister of Agriculture, Eng. Khaled Al-Hanaifat, recently inspected the conditions of farmers in the vicinity of the dam, where he instructed to allocate a well belonging to the Ministry in the region to assist in the irrigation operations of citizens’ crops there, in addition to allocating another well in the area that belongs to the Ministry of Water, and the Minister indicated that the Ministry has plans for a water harvesting program. It provides for the construction of new earthen pits and dams, in addition to supporting farmers to build wells to collect water, and 50,000 wells to be built over a period of five years.

Despite trying to contact the Secretary General of the Jordan Valley Authority, Manar Al-Mahasneh, to get details from her on the matter, she did not answer.

The opinion

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Jordan News

Source : اخبار الاردن

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