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Disi resumes pumping water after assault damages fixed — ministry

By Bahaa Al Deen Al Nawas - May 27,2020 - Last updated at May 27,2020

The Ministry of Water and Irrigation on Wednesday resumed pumping from the Disi Water Conveyance Project after maintenance teams repaired damages to the pipeline resulting from an attack by unknown assailants, according to a statement (Petra photo)

AMMAN — The Ministry of Water and Irrigation on Wednesday resumed pumping from the Disi Water Conveyance Project after maintenance teams repaired damages to the pipeline resulting from an attack by unknown assailants, the ministry said in a statement. 

The ministry recorded five violations during the 72-hour comprehensive curfew that started on Friday, according to the statement.

“The Disi Water Company cadres have worked since Monday morning on fixing the fifth and main attack that occurred in Khan Al Zabib,” the statement said, noting that pumping has been resumed to Amman, Zarqa and northern governorates. 

The fifth and the major violation, carried out by unknown perpetrators, targeted a main structure, a fan with a 200-millimetre diameter, with the purpose of leaking large quantities of water, the statement said, adding that around 180 million cubic metres (mcm)/hour were leaked, the ministry’s spokesperson Omar Salameh said in a statement.

The ministry condemned the violations, which forced it to suspend pumping for immediate maintenance, during which areas in Amman, Zarqa and northern governorates were impacted, reducing the water share allocated to them and depriving many from sufficient drinking water.

Salameh said that the operating company and the ministry worked with the authorities to find the perpetrators, noting that while violations on the pipeline, which extends over 350kilometres, are recurrent, the nature of this particular attack was different. 

“The fan’s cover, which weighs half a tonne, has been removed in a professional manner, and tampered with in a way that forces suspension of pumping, and had it not been for the immediate action, the pipeline could have exploded, endangering its surrounding environment, people’s lives and causing a pumping stoppage that could have lasted for weeks,” Salameh said in the statement.

In a phone call on Wednesday, Salameh told The Jordan Times that all five violations have been resolved, noting that two more violations occurred later as well. 

Water Minister Raed Abul Saud on Monday warned from the dangers of the recurrent violations on different water resources in the Kingdom, especially the Disi pipeline, which he said secures 50 per cent of people’s drinking water needs.

On the fan attack, Abul Saud said that it poses “big danger” on water resources, particularly underground resources that are used excessively due to increased pumping from wells.

He called for implementing the strictest penalties against the culprits, preventing any others who attempt to tamper with water resources, noting that such “irresponsible behaviour” requires the cooperation of all institutions and authorities, including civil society institutions and the media, and individuals, to protect water resources against violations.

He also said the ministry will continue implementing its campaigns to face such violations, in cooperation with official and non-official entities.

 

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