Infrequent supply, maintenance works bring water shortage to Irbid town

Residents of Irbid town say maintenance work on the town’s main road damaged a water line, exacerbating water issues in the area. (Photo: JNews)
IRBID — Tabnah, a town in Irbid’s Kourah district, has faced chronic water scarcity, residents say. Those water problems have become more intense since maintenance work on the town’s main road damaged the water line.اضافة اعلان

“We have been suffering from a water problem in Tabnah for a very long time,” one resident who spoke to Jordan News on condition of anonymity.

“The main water station, Ain Sirin, pumps water to the whole of Irbid, and the Tabnah area only (receives water) about two hours every two weeks, which is not enough to fill half of the (water) tank.”

The lack of water has driven people to purchase water from private companies, which itself has become more expensive due to the maintenance work on Tabnah’s main road, the resident added. “The demand for water is large. We are talking here about the main needs for water only, not about irrigation and cleaning.”

Dirar Bani Issa, an inhabitant of one of the neighborhoods of Tabnah, told Jordan News that she manages to get by with the current water supply, but only because “I own a private water well, and have just two children. But with regard to families who have more people, they really need more water.”

Bani Issa echoed her fellow resident’s complaint about Tabnah’s road maintenance: “Fractures are repaired immediately, but this had an impact in the last few weeks.”

The area’s geography is also a factor, she said, explaining that because the mountainous terrain necessitates “a stronger pumping force.”

Low-income families in particular feel the strain, as they have no choice but to purchase more expensive water to meet their needs, she stressed, citing her neighbor as an example: “Their need for water forces them to buy it, and thus pay large costs that may reach JD80 per month for a family of seven.”

Muntaser Al-Momani, director of Yarmouk Water Company, which supplies water to the Tabnah area, said the company was aware of the problem in the area, telling Jordan News that “there was previously a problem with amount of water being pumped, but we dealt with it by expanding the water line from 4 inches to 6 inches.”

The director acknowledged that the disruptions caused by the road maintenance are being conducted by a public contractor. “Since the expansion is large, the water line was broken many times,” Momani said. “But we have been dealing with the problem immediately and we are working hard to avoid any problem of this kind.”

Media spokesperson for the Ministry of Water and Irrigation, Omar Salama, said in an interview, "We are working hard not to cut off water from any region in Jordan, and we have not received any complaints about a continuous water cut,” adding that the ministry acts quickly to address every complaint it receives.

“However, citizens should know that what we suffer in water scarcity is a reality in Jordan as a whole,” Salama said, citing the combination of a weak rainy season and this summer’s especially high temperatures. “Citizens should be more aware against wasteful use of water.”

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