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Jordan calls on people to pray for rain

by Staff Writers
Amman (AFP) Nov 27, 2010
Jordan's ministry of religious affairs on Saturday urged citizens to gather next week and hold special prayers for rain across the parched kingdom.

A ministry statement said people should begin fasting for three days ahead of Thursday's planned prayers in Jordan, where a lack of rainfall could trigger a drought and exacerbate water shortages.

"Since the rains have been delayed and because of the pressing need for water in the country, we call on you to hold open-air prayers for rain on Thursday afternoon," said the statement.

Jordanians should "prepare for the Istisqa prayer by fasting for three days starting on Monday, and by stepping up devotion and charity work."

The special Muslim prayers known as Salat al-Istisqa -- a ritual practiced since the time of the Prophet Mohammed -- are frequently held across the Middle East, where water is a precious resource, especially on the Arabian Peninsula.

Jordan, one of the 10 most water-impoverished countries in the world, has a population of about 6.3 million and consumes more than 900 million cubic metres (31.5 billion cubic feet) of water every year.

The county, where 92 percent of the land is desert, depends mainly on rain to meet its needs with the agriculture sector representing 3.6 percent of overall gross domestic product.

More than 60 percent of the annual water consumption goes to agriculture. But five successive years of below-average rainfall has created a shortfall of 500 million cubic metres a year.

According to the water ministry, Jordan needs 1.6 billion cubic metres (56 billion cubic feet) of water a year to meet its requirements by 2015.




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CLIMATE SCIENCE
Mauritania's dry capital opens water supply from Senegal
Nouakchott (AFP) Nov 24, 2010
Mauritanian President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz on Wednesday opened a hydraulic facility which will pump water from the Senegal River over 200 kilometers (120 miles) south to the parched capital Nouakchott. The head of state launched the new water supply by opening the main pumping station of project "Aftout Sahli", some 17 kilometers north of here. The pipes are designed to transport 170, ... read more

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