The Housflies Problem
20th of February 2014
FoEME has organized a Parliamentarian tour to the South Ghor Municipality to attract their attention to one of the most urgent environmental problems; the houseflies problem.
The tour included MP. Shadi AlAdwan, MP Mazen Jawazneh, MP Mefleh Eisheibat, Mr. Abdalla Mayta- Governor of South Ghor, Mr. Ahmad Oneh – the Mayor of South Ghor as well as farmers from the community.
The tour started by visiting a traditional farm in Ghor Mezra’a where Mr. Sameer Habashneh talked about the use of raw chicken manure as a fertilizer in his land and the main challenges that make it hard to follow the best agricultural practices. The Parliamentarians have noticed the houslfies problem and became aware of the fact that the use of raw chicken manure is the main reason behind it.
The second stop was at the sinkholes in the Dead Sea area where representatives from FoEME explained more about the necessity to stabilize the Dead Sea level through the rehabilitation of the Jordan River and the importance of reconsidering the technologies used by the potash and Bromine Companies.
The visit concluded with the following recommendations:
1- The creation of a “model farm” that will allow farmers to witness best agricultural practices on the ground. This will promote economic development via the merging of local Jordanian knowledge and available land and water resources with Israeli experience and technology and pest alleviation in means that support sustainable agricultural development.. They will learn and experience the equipment first-hand in order to grant the FoEME and the program their trust and in order to remove any doubts or suspicions. New and modern equipment is going to be used to ensure minimum costs on the long-run as well as rewarding outcomes. New equipment is going to be available for the accessibility of all farmers in the municipality. This will, hopefully, raise their awareness concerning the need for a long-term solution for the housefly problem.
2- Raising awareness and enforcing the environmental standards that protect public health and the environment is a crucial aspect. The sustainability of such projects is ensured using regulation and accreditation, environmental protection guidelines, and efforts to preserve ecosystems as risk. Consequently, this program will be in direct collaboration with Rangers and the Ministry of Environment. The objective here is to amend current health and environmental laws as well as the evaluation and the monitoring of the effectiveness of these laws.
3- A compost factory is to be built near chicken and cow farms to treat manure directly after its disposal. Not only will this result in a long-term solution for the housefly problem, but it will also ensure better quality of crops as compost is the key ingredient in organic farming. One aspect of interest for the farmers is that if a compost factory is built near their farms, manure could be exchanged for a reduced price.
Farmers also added that marketing is a big problem for them nowadays due to the political situation in neighboring countries; they requested a central vegetable market to be constructed in South Ghor.
MP Mazen Gawazneh stated that before working on enforcing the law that prevents the use of raw chicken manure, we need to start by providing other options and we need to have the compost factory operating first.
At the end they all agreed on the importance of this initiative and pledged to support the organization and the proposed projects; the MPs will be organizing a hearing in the lower house of Parliament with the minister of Environment, the Minister of Agriculture and the Minister of Water and Irrigation and invite FoEME to speak about the problem and projects proposed.
This post is contributed by Hana Alassad FoEMEs Jordanian Good Water Neighbors “Adults” Project Coordinator.