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Rusaifa park, one more tool to fight climate change, pollution

Rusaifa park. (Handout: Dana Al-Zyadat)
AMMAN — A project to build an environmental park in the town of Rusaifa, east of Amman, will be completed according to schedule, in the middle of this year, Minister of Public Works and Housing Yahya Al-Kisbi said.اضافة اعلان

The minister told Jordan News that by mid-January, 26 percent of works had been completed almost four months after the project was started.

According to the minister, Rusaifa Environmental Park will provide a "sustainable, healthy, natural and vital recreational space for the residents of the area, which has been historically associated with environmental hazards, like the nearby garbage landfill, which has been removed, the old phosphate mines, factories, and others”.

The park will feature tiled spaces, trails for walking and jogging, areas for family gatherings, landscaped areas, children playgrounds, fountains, a basketball pitch and two small-sized football fields, stairs, pavement umbrellas, parking lots, water reservoirs to collect rainwater, and forested parts, all built over some 74 dunums.

In the long run, the minister said, parks like the one in Rusaifa, a district inhabited by more than half a million people, will help address the effects of climate change and pollution, "which are major challenges in the world and require orchestrated efforts to deal with their repercussions".

The project is being implemented by the ministry through Zarqa Public Works Department.

Environmentalist and Chairman of Jordan Environmental Union Omar Shoshan, said rather than calling the park "environmental", he would prefer to classify it as a "recreational area”, defining an environmental park as one whose “primarily ecological purpose is the protection of an area of significant environmental value. These parks protect and enhance biodiversity by providing habitat for flora and fauna and may include movement corridors".

"We had better call it an artificial ecosystem," he said, acknowledging that building the park on the old phosphate mining areas is a wise decision as it will help "reverse the ecological damage caused by the mining activities".

Saeed Al-Damhouri, professor of environmental studies at the University of Jordan, also believes the project will have a positive effect on the environment, being built on an abandoned phosphate mining location.

"Mining locations are open areas associated with pollution and dust, so forestation is the answer to increasing green areas and curbing desertification," he said.

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