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Wala Valley protest on going for over 10 days

walaa Waleh dam dams
Wala Dam. (Photo: Petra)
AMMAN — Farmers in the Wala Valley area, located in the south of Madaba governorate, have been protesting for days the authorities’ inaction regarding their demands to be given Wala Dam water for lands classified as irrigated lands.اضافة اعلان

Farmers complained that the valley suffered from drought and fear losing more agricultural crops. They threaten to hold an open sit-in in front of the WalaDam if authorities continue to ignore their complaints.

Ali Breizat, one of the farmers from the area, told Jordan News that despite the fact that protests have been going on for more than 10 days, farmers did not receive water from the dam, with a capacity of some 3.5 million cubic metres, neither from wells or water basins.

According to him, the area around the dam has been cultivated and is supplied with dam water directly, as decided by the Jordan Valley Authority, but it would be only fair for the dam water to be distributed to all the areas of the Wala Valley, which have long been owned by the region’s farmers.

Farmers are having problems carrying out their agricultural operations as usual, especially now when the planting season is in its early stages, because they have not received water since mid-March according to Breizat.

He emphasized that locals attempted to engage with the responsible authorities in a variety of ways to find a solution to the situation that threatens the agricultural sector in the Wala Valley with collapse, but have been unable to get an official answer or reaction, except from the minister of water who said that the water from the Wala Dam is for drinking and cannot be wasted on agriculture.

“The Ministry of Water is putting pressure on citizens so they can finally buy Israel’s water,” said Breizat, reiterating that “the easiest way to persuade Jordanians to approve the arrangement to buy water from Israel is to address citizens’ needs and pressure them through one of life’s most basic necessities, water”.

Farmer Anwar Hawajreh told Jordan News that the farmers attempted to find a solution through the Ministry of Water, the governor of Madaba, the secretary-general of the Jordan Valley Water Authority and others, but none of their efforts yielded a result or a solution.

According to him, the Ministry of Water emptied the Wala Dam last year, which resulted in a big shortage, and this caused the ministry to reduce water distribution this year, fearing more scarcity; as a result, part of the region’s crops was damaged this year, and the other part will face the same fate by June if the water is not supplied soon.
... failing to meet their demands will result in an increase in the number of citizens queueing for aid, making them nothing more than a burden on the government.
Secretary-General of the Farmers Union Mahmoud Al Oran told Jordan News that Al Wala region produces 15 percent of the vegetables sent to the central wholesale vegetable and fruit market during the summer season, notably zucchini.

He emphasized the need to pay attention to and benefit from this region’s output, which is an auxiliary component of the lowlands, in order to boost the country’s food security.

Oran went on to say that “the government should learn from previous lessons about the paucity of imports to the central wholesale markets and seek to incorporate technology and modern agriculture into the economy as much as feasible”.

He said that the residents of Wala Valley have been “primarily dependent on the agricultural sector for more than half a century, and failing to meet their demands will result in an increase in the number of citizens queueing for aid, making them nothing more than a burden on the government”.

No official from the Ministry of Water or the Jordan Valley Authority Jordan News tried to contact could be reached.

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