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Farmers report heavy damage after anomalous rainfall

By Mays Ibrahim Mustafa - May 29,2023 - Last updated at May 29,2023

A view of a damaged watermelon farm following flash floods triggered by heavy rainfall in Wadi Rum on Monday (Photo courtesy of Mahmoud Oran)

AMMAN — Farmers are reporting “extensive damages” following the unseasonal heavy rainfall accompanied by hail on Monday, according to Director-General of the Jordanian Farmers Union Mahmoud Oran.

Recent strong winds have damaged trees by bending and breaking their branches, in addition to bruising or stripping their fruits, flowers and leaves, he told to The Jordan Times. 

“Hail showers have also caused scratches and bruises on ripe fruits, reducing their quality and exposing them to fungus and insects,” Oran added. 

The dusty weather conditions, which began impacting the Kingdom on Thursday, are also increasing the risk of respiratory illnesses among livestock animals and leading to the infestation of certain agricultural pests, he continued. 

Some farms in Jordan’s southern and eastern regions have been flooded due to the heavy rainfall, leading to the destruction of beehives and the death of a significant number of livestock animals, Oran added. 

He stressed the importance of “prompt” steps to assess damages and compensate farmers for the financial losses they’ve incurred. 

According to Oran, water harvesting might be the “only positive outcome” of this unexpected weather. 

The Ministry of Water and Irrigation on Monday announced that the recent rainfall has supplied the Kingdom’s dams with roughly 30 million cubic metres (mcm) of water. This brings dams’ storage to 132,885mcm, equal to 47.33 per cent of the dams’ total capacity, according to the ministry. 

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