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Clean-up campaign yields 130 tonnes of firewood

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An undated photo of trees damaged by snowfall in the capital Amman. (File photo: Ameer Khalifeh/Jordan News)
AMMAN — Ministry of Agriculture teams collected some 130 tonnes of firewood in Amman until yesterday, to be sold and distributed, following the snowstorm which recently affected the Kingdom, ministry spokesperson Lawrence Al-Majali said.اضافة اعلان

Majali told Jordan News that the ministry had hired around 7,000 workers to conduct a six-month cleanup campaign in the northern and southern forests of the Kingdom before the recent snowstorm.

Cleaning up forests, trimming trees, and collecting broken branches has helped the remaining trees withstand the snowstorm better than the trees in Amman, he said.

The number of forest fires last summer in Jordan declined by more than 46 percent, while around the world the number of forest fires had gone up, and this might also be attributed to the cleaning campaign, according to Majali.

Trees, mainly coniferous, but also palms, were massively damaged in Amman. Deciduous trees fared better.

Majali wished to stress that the drought of the past season was not a reason trees fell during the storm, adding it is only a matter of pruning the trees.

Areas like the Sports City and university campuses have high numbers of trees and they were most impacted by the snowstorm.

Regarding the selling and distribution of the firewood, Majali said that the official procedure is to collect the fallen trees, register them officially and duly, store them in warehouses belonging to forestry departments, and sell them at affordable prices.

He added that in order to distribute firewood to needy families there is need of approval from the Prime Ministry, since firewood brings financial revenues to the government, but hopefully a big part of the collected firewood will be given to those who need it most.

Secretary-General of the Farmers Union Mahmoud Al-Ouran told Jordan News that some of the fallen trees were more than 20 years old, and confirmed that more trees were damaged in Amman than in the forests north of the Kingdom.

He said that the ministry must carry study the reasons the snowstorm affected the trees in Amman so severely, especially knowing that the Alexa snowstorm of some years ago was stronger than this year’s yet caused less harm to trees.

“We must always address climate change with scientific research,” Ouran said, pointing out that Jordan is part of the Mediterranean Sea climate and it is witnessing climate changes.

“We must focus on the reasons for what happened, learn from them, and not only put the blame on the snowstorm,” Ouran added.

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