Jordan, Canada sign Jordan Valley JD1.5m renewable energy project deal

By JT – Mar 11,2019

AMMAN — The government will compensate Jordan Valley farmers who were affected by the release of the King Talal Dam’s waters, after it reached full capacity due to the recent rains, Prime Minister Omar Razzaz said on Monday.

Razzaz met with farmers from the central Jordan Valley in Deir Alla to discuss the issue, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported.

He reassured the farmers that he had already directed the Jordan Valley Authority (JVA) and the Ministry of Finance to cooperate with the assessment committee.

The committee was formed to inspect and assess the damage caused by the water release, and to disburse compensations accordingly, according to Petra.

In the presence of Agriculture Minister Ibrahim Shahahdeh and JVA Secretary General Ali Kouz, Razzaz expressed the government’s keenness to support and protect the agricultural sector.

He also voiced the government’s readiness to meet farmers, to listen to their concerns and issues and to work with them to find solutions.

Shahahdeh said that opening the gates of the dam was important to preserve the dam.

The release of the excess water was done under extensive supervision, but damage occurred on some farms, he underlined.

Kouz pointed out that the Kingdom’s dams are secure.

The wet season increased the dams’ supply by more than 50 per cent to a total of 171 million cubic metres. The most recent rains alone brought around 34mcm, he noted.

The assessment committee is comprised of representatives from the ministries of interior, water and agriculture and the Union of Jordan Valley Farmers, Petra explained.

Its assessment and recommendations were referred to the Prime Ministry, according to the news agency.

Affected farmers will be duly contacted to collect their compensation, Petra said.

Razzaz also attended the signing ceremony of a renewable energy project to service the Deir Alla and Maadi municipalities, an official statement carried by Petra added.

The project, funded by the Canadian Office of Energy Research and Development and the Ministry of Energy, includes installing solar cells with a capacity of 950 kilowatts.

A grant to cover 75 per cent of the project costs will be provided by Sustainable Environment and Economic Development.

The remaining 25 per cent is to be covered by the municipalities.

According to Energy Minister Hala Zawati, the plan will cover 91 and 64 per cent of the power consumption in the Maadi and Deir Alla municipalities, respectively.

It will also save them JD165,000 and JD200,000 annually, she added.

A total of 160,000 people will benefit from the project, which is established over a 40-dunum plot of land, she highlighted.

Overall, the cost of the project is estimated at JD1.5 million, to be retrieved from revenues within five years.

A representative of the Canadian ambassador highlighted the importance of the project in raising the awareness of the local community on energy efficiency and renewable energy systems.

Razzaz also visited a water agriculture development project, where he was briefed on some of the modern agricultural methods used.

The project, funded by the Dutch government, aims at improving the efficiency of the agricultural sector and boosting its added value, in addition to creating jobs.