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Wala Valley farmers complain of water scarcity, ‘unfair’ distribution of dam water

1. Wala Dam Farmers
An undated photo of Wala Dam. (Photo: Petra)
AMMAN — Farmers in the Wala Valley complained about a lack of irrigation water as ponds dried up and they have been prevented from using water from the Wala Dam for their crops.اضافة اعلان

Farmers who spoke to Jordan News said that if their farms go without irrigation for days, they will not be able to produce the different types of fruits and vegetables that are widely consumed by citizens.

They asked the ministries of water and of agriculture to help spare them the losses they are likely to incur, estimated at thousands of dinars, if the situation remains as it is for too long.

Ali Breizat, a farmer in the Wala Valley area, told Jordan News that “there is confusion in the management of the dams by the government”, and that “the government allowed some farmers to farm on the banks of the dam, and that is illegal”.

“What is happening now is that the old farmers who plant in the places designated for them do not take their full share of the water. I have planted lemons and olives, and I do not know what their fate will be after the water was cut off,” he said.

One problem, according to him, is that “the number of farmers in the region is much greater than the water quotas available to them”. He added that “the unfair distribution of water, threatens the livelihoods of farmers and damages their crops”.

Anwar Hawajreh, yet another farmer, told Jordan News that “the area of Wadi Al-Wala is neglected and in need of greater attention from the government, especially since all the crops are threatened”.

He added that the Jordan Valley Authority gave farmers some water on Monday, but “this ration did not cover the needs of farmers and crops”, adding that “there is no justice in the distribution of water to farmers”.

He also said that water from the dams was channeled to Amman, which “contributed to reducing the water level”.

According to Hawajreh, “the government still does not feel the importance of farmers”.

“Basic and important types of vegetables and fruit are grown in Al-Wala Valley, and if the crops are damaged or stopped, this will contribute to an increase in their prices that will affect consumers as well,” he said.

Secretary-General of the Jordan Valley Authority Manar Mahasneh told Jordan News that the rate of rainfall in the area was low, and as a result, the water level was not sufficient to cover the farmers’ needs.

“The amount of water reached 3 million cubic meters of the 25 million cubic meters full capacity,” she said, adding that, “it was agreed not to plant the entire agricultural area, but rather a part of it, so that the quantities of water would be sufficient for all farmers”.

“Sunday night, the problem was solved and dam water was released for the farmers to continue farming,” she added.

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