Last week, The Public Action Project, a USAID project that aims to help promoting water and energy conservation and preservation behaviors in Jordan, planned two trips: On Wednesday we went to Souf’s town in Jerash, and on Thursday we visited Rahoub and Al Moghayyer in Irbid. The trips were organized to bring a group of journalists, youth, bloggers and environmental activists, all eager to go visit those springs in these lovely towns, document the effect of water shortages and depletion, and interact with the local communities in order to record their stories and bring them out to the public on the world water day this upcoming Thursday 22th, March.
One our way, we realized that this is probably the best time of the year to go sight seeing around the country. The scenery was so beautiful with green fields on all sides. Unfortunately, the weather was a bit cold and pretty wendy.
In Souf, we visited couple of springs and listened to an engineer who accompanied us from the Ministry of Water and Irrigation who gave us insightful information about how the level of water have been continuously going down in the past decade and how much it has been affecting people’s lives in many way and threatening the existence of life in that beautiful town. That effect has been highlighted by the different people in the local community we have met later on. Women from a local community based organization, farmers, leaders of the community, and people in the street, they all talked about their struggle with water that barely meets their need when it reach them once every week or every two weeks. They talked about how new generation moved from farming into governmental work into other cities and how remaining farmers moved from planting fruitful trees such as peach into olive trees that require less water.
In Rahoub, we visited the spring of Rahoub and learnt how it is located nearby a chicken farm that polluted the area many times in the past before a German project created protection zones around it. We have also visited a house for a woman who works with Mercy corps in a project that helps houses build their own water harvesting wells. A much needed solution to deal with water shortages in the area. We also visited a local girls high school in Al Moghayyer and were impressed with the environmental club at schools. The girls showed a high level of environmental awareness with good knowledge of necessary water conservation behaviors. The school, Al Moghayyer High School for girls, is pretty impressive in many ways, it was pretty clean and organized. Girls seemed neat, organized and responsible. It made me wonder about the assumption that all public schools in Jordan are bad, obviously not!
The water threat is eminent. We are witnessing its heat and learning how to cope. Every single effort is needed for this issue will be affecting every Jordanian life as we come to face the effect of climate change with a fast expanding population. There is a lot that we can do to help ease the pain, with simple behavior changes and small tricks that would help us to learn how to conserve and preserve our limited resources of water.
What are you waiting for? run and install water saving devices at your home if you still haven’t done that.