On the significance of al-Qaddafi visit to Jordan; water projects
Jordan-Libya, Politics, 9/22/2000
The visit of the Libyan President Muammar al-Qaddafi to Jordan scheduled in October, and most expectedly on the 3rd of October is of special importance for Jordan which is looking forward to signing an agreement according to which Libya finances a vital project to bring waters from Southern Jordan to Amman, at a cost of US $ 600 million in which Libya provides more than half.
A Jordanian official source said that a high ranking Libyan delegation will accompany al-Qaddafi in his visit which was decided during the participation of the Jordanian King Abdullah II Bin al- Hussein in the celebrations of the 31st anniversary of al-Fateh revolution on the first of September.
The Jordanian source added that a people and official reception will be held for al-Qaddafi who asked for a tent to be installed for him in the center of Amman so as to be able to receive the Jordanian tribes. He added the officials for the water sector in the two countries will meet to discuss arrangements for signing the water project agreement which will be launched under the name of al-Fateh, as a gratitude from the Jordanian side for the Libyan aid to financing it. Al-Qaddafi's visit to Jordan is his second after his first visit in 1983.
Several meetings were held in the three last months in Amman and Tripoli to discuss the project which Tripoli had expressed readiness to implement and finance it as a help to Jordan which suffers a lack in portable water estimated at 30% annually.
The Jordanian minister of waters and irrigation Hatem al-Halwani said that the Libyan " experience" in the " Great Industrial river" project will greatly contribute in achieving Jordan's ambitions to solve its water crisis until the year 2100 ."
He explained that " Bringing water from al-Deisi basin in the southern part of the Kingdom will ensure more than 100 million cubic meters of waters annually which meet the requirements of the capital Amman and southern Jordan areas."
He indicated that the " technical study which will be financed by Tripoli at a cost of US $ 900,000 and will be carried out by the Libyan company " Brown and Brutz " will define all matters relating to the Libyan aid to carry out al-Deisi projects, financially and technically ."
Al-Deisi basin is situated near the coastal city of al-Aqaba. It is a huge water reservoir and non- renewable.
Jordanian studies revealed that it is possible to invest the said basin at a rate of 100 million cubic meters annually and for a period exceeding 100 years without affecting its deep water level.
Libyan water experts said that thousands of pipes which were used in the first stages of the Great industrial river project in the mid of the 1980 s will be suitable to be reused in building the conveying line from al-Deisi to Amman at a length of 300 kilometers. A matter which will lessen the cost of finance which most of it will be allotted to drill more than 80 water wells. 15 huge water pumping stations and hundreds of water reservoirs.
Thanks to this project, Jordan is ambitious to develop a long - term agriculture as well as to increase its local produce of agriculture which at the meantime does not exceeds 5%, as well as to limit government's expenditures on the water sector estimated at US $ 150 million annually.
Tripoli will give financial aid to implement the project estimated at US $ 400 million, while the two sides will ensure through a joint banking merging the remaining cost estimated at US $ 200 million.
In February Tripoli proposed full administration and financing for the project, but Amman refused this proposal unless the two countries reach an understanding on joint administration of the project.
The project, however, is considered a fruit for the increased improvement in the relations between the two states since the first visit of the Jordanian King Abdullah to Libya in September last week. A visit followed by several exchanged visits between the two countries' officials.
In the beginning of this month, September, the Libyan President al-Qaddafi praised the Jordanian King " for his continued efforts in defending the rights of the Palestinian people, especially the refugees and for his strong determination to improve the economic conditions of his country." Al-Qaddafi added " The Jordanian King is linked to firm personal relations with the son of the Libyan leader al- Saeedi al-Qaddafi."
On the other hand, Jordan and Syria agreed in July agreed to build a joint dam on al-Yarmouk river which springs from the Syrian lands. The cost of its financing is estimated at US $ 420 million, its storage capacity is estimated at 225 million cubic meters.
Jordan meets its water needs through its self-resources from the rainfall and underground wells. It is provided by 50 million cubic meters annually from Israel. But all these only meet 65 % of its needs.
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