Students from Israel, Jordan, and Palestine tour the Jordan Valley, exploring the site where the Jordan River meets the Sea of Galilee
On February 25-27, FoEME gathered 30 young leaders from three schools in the Jordan Valley region (Kings Academy, Madaba Jordan; Terra Sancta, Jericho Palestine; Geon Hayarden, Beit Shean Israel), to learn about the state of the Lower Jordan River and see its upstream origins. The unusually rainy weekend didn’t stop the group from hiking in the mud, enjoying the river’s natural beauty and visiting the ancient city of Beit Shean.
Daniela B.C., an Israeli student from Geon Hayarden, shares her reflections below.
Last weekend we had our second Friends of the Earth Middle East seminar. In the seminar we talked about the problems of the Jordan River, the Kinneret and the Dead Sea. In the seminar we were able to interact with diffrent people. We wereall together – Palestinians, Israelis, and Jordanians – finding a solution to the problem that we are facing all days and also we went to learn about the subject.
Before I went to the first seminar I really didn´t know that there was a problem of water in the three countries. The main problem is that we are taking too much water and we are not letting the Jordan River flow. The Jordan River is the one that feeds the Dead Sea, which is also in danger because each year it is getting more and more narrow. Another problem that we have is the people’s consciousness, because they dont care about polluting the waters and this produces contamination that kills the flora and fauna of the place.
Jordan and Israel in the Peace Treaty also write about the water. In one of the articles there are limits on the water for each party. These days Jordan stores their water in the Kinneret, that is part of Israel, and then Israel returns the water when Jordan needs it, but this can be also a problem for lots of people because Israelis think that we are giving water that belongs to us and they are only making a controversy.
I think is very important to learn about this issue and to talk to the people, who need to know more about the river and the problems and then start thinking of a solution. What I think is better would be for Jordan to make a dam on their side so they can storage their water. And for each party to give water from their side to the river so it can flow. The pollution can also be resolved by making treatment plants and not returning the used waters to the same river.
Friends Of the Middle East you’re doing a great job – know the solutions are from us!
The Jordan Valley Youth Leadership meeting is part of FoEME’s Good Water Neighbors project.
Related posts on FoEME’s tri-lateral youth activities:
FoEME’s GGIS Teenagers Take Responsibility for their Shared Environment
Israeli, Jordanian, and Palestinian Youths Become “Eco-builders” at Kibbutz Lotan