By Mohammad Ben Hussein

AMMAN – The Muslim Brotherhood movement on Thursday organised a mass prayer for rain in Tabarbour amid concerns that the delay in the onset of the wet season could lead to a substantial decline in the Kingdom’s water reserves.

Hundreds participated in the event, including women, children and the elderly.

This is the first prayer for rain in Jordan this year, with plans to hold prayers across the Kingdom on Friday.

Overall leader of the Muslim Brotherhood Hamam Saeed led the prayer by calling on Jordanians to pray more for rain, saying precipitation is a form of mercy from Allah towards his people.

“We are following in the footsteps of our beloved Prophet Mohammad who would pray for rain in Mecca, whenever the rainy season was late,” Saeed said.

“We notice that the rain is delayed. This season is almost over and there is no rainة When there is no rain, Muslims meet to pray for rain,” he noted.

Jordan depends on rain to replenish underground aquifers and reservoirs, the main source of domestic water supply.

The Kingdom has no major rivers or lakes to meet the demands of its over six million population, depending mainly on rainfall.

According to studies conducted by the Jordan Meteorological Department (JMD), 2010 is the driest year since 1992.

The JMD described the current weather and lack of rainfall as “normal”, attributing the dry and warm weather to recurring Red Sea troughs.

“Because multiple Red Sea troughs have been affecting the country, warm and dry winds are causing a rise in temperatures and preventing any rainfall,” meteorologist Ziyad Balasmeh told The Jordan Times earlier this week.

The government announced “precautionary” measures to deal with the lack of rainfall this year, noting that it will reduce amounts of water pumped to farms in the Jordan Valley and southern regions of the Kingdom, but will keep domestic water supply unchanged.

The Kingdom’s main dams currently hold 37 per cent of their total capacity.

Jordan, which is considered the world’s fourth water poorest country, suffers an annual water deficit of 500 million cubic metres and per capita share of water does not exceed 150 cubic metres per year, well below the water poverty line of 500 cubic metres per year.