In an attempt to advance its Priority Project in the region of South Ghor in the Jordan River Valley, FoEME set up a meeting that included the governor of South Ghor Mr., Hussein Aldmour, South Ghor Mayer Mr., Ahmad Ouneh, representatives from the Ministry of Environment and Head of Rangers including Eng., Khaled Alfayez, Dr. Mohammed Khashashneh and Colonel Ahed Alheyari, Head of the Department of Agriculture, Mr., Mohammed Alsarayreh, Head of the Water Department, Mr., Adnan Alkhayat, representatives from the Jordan Valley Authority, Chairman of the Farmers’ Federation Mr.,Esmat Almajali, Chairman of Fertile Crescent Association and owner of Organic Factory in the area of Deir Allah Mr., Mekhled Alshahab on the 4th September, 2013.
Priority Project is an initiative of the Good Water Neighbors that strives to identify environmental challenges in the Ghor region and provide solutions to participating communities. South Ghor, in particular, suffers from numerous intersecting problems in the industrial, agricultural, and environmental fields. One of the major problems that pose a health hazard to the occupants of the region is the problem of house flies scientifically identified as the Musca domestica. A problem exacerbated by the use of raw manure as fertilizer as explained by FoEME’s Public Outreach Coordinator for the GWN Hana Al Asa’d.
After extended deliberations, the participants created a list of recommendations and sustainable suggestions to contain the problem of houseflies. The recommendations varied and reflected the expertise of all participants. A call for awareness campaigns that include schools, clubs, associations and mosques made it to the top of the list. The campaigns will also target farmers and educate them about alternative means to replace the use of untreated fertilizers. Afterwards, punitive measures will be taken against any environmental violations such as the prohibition of water from transgressing farms. Rangers will play a more active role in the implementation of environmental laws.
Flytraps will be distributed in the region in addition to constant and regular spraying with insecticides. Planting repellent tress in the region will also eliminate the problem of house flies. Cleanliness, especially in commercial areas, will be emphasized in addition to advising against public defecation. Alternative dumping sites will be created in Ghor region to replace the old ones as they exacerbate the problem of house flies. The new dumping sites will include sorting and treatment of waste in addition to recycling. Creating a factory for recycling will boost and encourage recycling in the region. Most importantly, is the creation of factories that produce organic fertilizers with modest prices thus providing farmers with alternatives to raw fertilization in addition to providing them with educational pamphlets about these alternatives and their use. FoEME will work on the creation of model farms to set an example for farmers who are skeptical about the value of good environmental practices.
The meeting concluded with a field visit to an unlicensed dumping site in Ghor Safi whereby a number of environmental violations were noticed. A case in point is the use of a raised piece of land to dump unsorted waste. Solid waste produces leachate that seeps to underground water due to the raised location and the fact that lining is not provided to contain the liquid. Burning of unsorted waste contributes to emission of toxic gases. The area is also used to dump sewage on an exposed pieces of land as alternatives are not available. An unused private compost factory was available at the site which was licensed by the Ministry of the Environment and never used for its intended purposes.
FoEME exposed all these violations to concerned parties and demanded the closure of this site and an end to all environmental violations in addition to creating dump sites that are environment friendly and registered with Ministry of Environment. Strict punitive measures should be taken against any environmental violations. Moreover, FoEME stressed that the aforementioned recommendations regarding houseflies should be implemented, administered and carefully monitored through close collaboration between municipalities to combat the problem. FoEME will also arrange for a bigger meeting with general secretaries from the different ministries.
Contributed by FoEME’s Media Officer & Project Coordinator Samar M. Salma in collaboration with FoEME’s Public Outreach Coordinator for the GWN Hana Al Asa’d at the Amman Office.