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Officials need to be closer to the people

Mar 13,2019 - Last updated at Mar 13,2019

Prime Minister Omar Razzaz rolled up his sleeves, donned his sports clothes and went down to the Jordan Valley and sat with farmers who were affected by the overflow of the King Talal Dam.

The prime minister, accompanied by Minister of Agriculture Ibrahim Shahahdeh and Jordan Valley Authority Secretary General Ali Al Kooz, took this initiative to show that he is close to the people and seeks to be privy first-hand to their woes and hardships.

The King Talal Dam overflowed last week due to the heavy winter storm that struck the country and many farmers, mostly in the central valley, sustained heavy losses when water from the dam flooded their farms and destroyed their crops.

Razzaz has, thus, shown the way to deal with people’s problems; by wanting to be as close as possible with those most affected and hurt. What remains is what the government intends to do with the farmers who sustained damages. It is one thing to become privy to people’s problems and another thing to do something meaningful about them.

The first order of things is to prevent dams from overflowing when they become overfilled. There must be an engineering way to avoid this from happening. Second, how to go about compensating people who sustained losses from overfilled dams. This much Razzaz intends to do and the farmers must now wait to see what kind of compensation the government intends to pay them.

Getting close to the problems of the people makes the prime minister more sensitive to their woes. Razzaz has shown the way on how to go about addressing people’s grievances. Other officials must do the same. The premier has set a fine example for the governance and it is now up to other officials to follow suit.

The public would not have it differently. His Majesty King Abdullah was the first to set in motion this example, by making frequent field visits to various remote regions of the country. The King asked officials to do the same and now the prime minister has taken the initiative to follow the King’s example.

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