Gov’t allocates JD1m to farmers impacted by dried up Al-Wala Dam

1. WALA DAM (Photo General Equipmemts Co)
(Photo: General Equipmemts Co)
AMMAN — After a lengthy discussion among cabinet members, the Ministry of Agriculture announced a JD1 million governmental compensation package to farmers affected by the drying up of Al-Wala Dam as well as farmers whose crops were burned in the blaze that destroyed 150,000 sq.m. of the Jordan Valley’s farmland in 2020.  اضافة اعلان

Located approximately 40km south of Amman, Al-Wala Dam was completed in 2002 after three years of construction and a bill of JD25 million. Some of the agricultural areas that rely on the dam’s water are farms in Wadi Al-Wala and Hiddan in Madaba governorate. The dam has a catchment area of 1,770 and can collect more than nine million cubic meters of water. 

For most of 2021, farmers in Madaba governorate who rely on Al-Wala Dam, have faced major challenges due to low rainfall levels.  Secretary-General of the Jordan Valley Authority Manar Mahasneh told Jordan News that Al-Wala Dam drying up was not related to the Ministry of Water’s decision to open the dam’s gates and empty a sizable portion of the dam’s waters, but rather was due to a low rainy season in 2020 and late rainfall in 2021.

“In February of this year, the Ministry of Water and Irrigation received a warning from weather experts, cautioning of a potentially hazardous drop in temperatures and harsh weather conditions. As a response, the Ministry opened the dam’s gate and began to incrementally empty water from the dam as a protection measure,” Mahasneh clarified. 

According to Mahasneh an examination of the Kingdom’s dams early this summer to assess the water collected from the last rainfall season showed a reduction of 80 million cubic meters in 2021 compared to 2020 and 2019. “Because Al-Wala, like many other dams, is very reliant on rainfall, the scenario of low precipitation levels will inevitably lead to droughts.”

In addition to Al-Wala Dam, the Tannur, Wadi Shueib, and the Mujib dams have also dried up this year due to little precipitation as well as ground water recharge.

Agricultural Engineer Younes Falahat, who is involved with farmers on some agricultural fields affected by the drying up of the Al-Wala Dam, told Jordan News that “the fact that so many farmers have been affected negatively by the well’s drying, has led to the Ministry of Agriculture to seriously consider compensation packages.”  

According to Falahat, there are around 110 farmers who have been adversely impacted by Al-Wala’s situation this year. Although the assumption would be that compensation is estimated according to land area, it will actually be based on other factors, like the type of crops that were affected, the degree of agricultural damage that resulted from Al-Wala’s water shortage, and the lifespan of those crops.”

The compensation package will be paid by the Agriculture Risk Management Fund, an organization that operates under the Ministry of Agriculture umbrella. 

Read more National News