By Hana Namrouqa

AMMAN – The Ministry of Environment has finalised the country’s first digital eco-map, which shows that the central region generates 68 per cent of solid chemical waste in Jordan.

The digital eco-map is a database that lists all chemical plants in the Kingdom to monitor industries’ compliance with environment and health safety regulations, and crack down on plants polluting the environment, Ministry of Environment Spokesperson Isa Shboul said on Tuesday.

“The map categorises the chemical plants in accordance with the level of risk they pose to the environment,” he told The Jordan Times.

The map indicates that the central region, which comprises Amman, Zarqa, Balqa and Madaba, is home to 188 plants, five of which are categorised as high risk, and 147 plants as medium risk.

The majority of the chemical plants in the central region are located in Amman and they produce detergents and paint, according to the map, a copy of which was made available to The Jordan Times.

The southern region, which includes Karak, Maan, Tafileh and Aqaba, is home to eight chemical plants, two of which were categorised as high risk and six as medium risk, according to the map.

Shboul noted that the southern region, where plants mainly produce paint and fertilisers, generates 31.5 per cent of the country’s chemical waste.

Meanwhile, 16 chemical plants operate in the northern region, which comprises Irbid, Jerash, Ajloun and Mafraq, according to the eco-map.

“The plants in the north mainly manufacture detergents, paint, fertilisers and pesticides. Fourteen plants rank as medium-risk and two as low risk,” Shboul noted, adding that the northern region generates 0.7 per cent of chemical waste.

The digital eco-map was implemented under a USAID-funded project to boost environmental inspection and law enforcement supported by the US Environment Protection Agency.