Farmers at Wadi Jerash complain of polluted water submerging their farms

jerash farmers (3)
Last week, Wadi Jerash was impacted by a broken sewage network that leaked waste water to a rainwater drainage system resulting in the contamination of a number of farms in the area and obligating farmers to destroy some of the crops. (Photo: Ahmed Bani Mustafa/Jordan News)
AMMAN — A broken sewage network leaked waste water to a rainwater drainage system in Wadi Jerash last week, resulting in the contamination of a number of farms in the area and obligating farmers to destroy some of the crops.  اضافة اعلان

Hussein Abuladas, president of Jerash Governorate Farmers Union, said that farms along Wadi Jerash were flooded with huge amounts of water coming from damaged drainage systems.  The farmers said in addition to the contamination of crops, the “farms are spread along the course of Wadi Al-Dahab (Jerash Valley) and close to the commercial center and residential neighborhoods, where sewage is getting mixed up with rainwater.” 

In addition to the environmental threat, the waste water leakage to their farms will have financial repercussions as the crops would be questionable and unfit for human consumption. 

Abuladas, who runs a farming business in the Wadi Jerash area, told Jordan News that some shops and buildings have connected their sewage pipes to the water drainage system. 

He said the lots of land in the area have been cultivated for decades and constitute a livelihood for many, but that “this recurrent problem is forcing farmers to abandon cultivating their land, which would eventually lead to a shrunken agricultural area and many destroyed trees.” 

Farmer Abdel-Fattah Banat said that he called and visited the Jerash Water Directorate more than once to present this problem to them but there was no response, noting that the flooding has increased during the last rainfall, “which coincided with the vegetable produce season, adversely affecting the crops.” He said that many attempts were made to complain to the competent authorities but that “each one blames the other.”   

An official at Jerash Eastern Sewage Treatment Plant refuted the assumption that sewage waste got mixed up with rainwater and caused the polluted flooding into farms.  He said that the water that submerged the farms last week might have been polluted with street dust and other residues but not sewage discharge, which is usual at the first rainfall.

Ali Shogah, general-manager of Jerash Greater Municipality, said the municipality will send a team to the field to inspect the problem, and pledged to follow up on the issue.

The municipality conducts periodical inspections on all drainage systems under its administration, Shougah said, noting that sewage systems are the responsibility of the water directorate.

Director of the Jerash Agriculture Department Fayez Khalwaldeh said that repairing drainage system is the responsibility of the water directorate and the municipality, stressing the need to conduct seasonal maintenance to ensure the safety of crops.

Despite several attempts by Jordan News to contact Jerash Water Directorate, no one was available to comment.

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