Rashid Saif Rashid al Abri, a residents of the impacted region stated, “We have been suffering from water shortage for some time now. Al Hamra relies heavily on rainwater and the sky has not opened up for rains for a long time. The wells and aflaj too have dried up worsening the condition further.”
Abri added, “The Public Authority for Electricity and Water (PAEW) has provided some solutions such as transferring water to remote areas through tankers for free. The farmer is the biggest victim because of this issue. We hope PAEW connects the water network to all homes in Al Hamra. We also hope that the Ministry of Regional Municipalities and Water Resources establishes more dams in Al Hamra.”
Another resident Jamal al Abri stated that tankers can assist meet only daily requirements. “Farmers have also stopped cultivation. Several reasons can be attributed to this drying up, such as increased urbanisation, lack of rainfall and dry aflaj and wells. I hope the authorities create more groundwater recharge dams. This is one way to solve the problem. The population of Al Hamra is more than 26,000.”
Another resident, Abdul Rahim Hamad Abdullah al Abri, attributes the shortage of groundwater to the escalating population density of the wilayat. “Some farmers have sold their livestock due to water shortage. They have not planted any seasonal crops as well. PAEW has currently supplied water to some houses but it is not adequate.
“We wish that more dams are created and desalinated water is supplied to citizens.” Shura Council member Sheikh Jamal Ahmed al Abri stated that short-term options have been supplied to supply relief to residents and all efforts are becoming taken to give the concern leading priority. “We have communicated with the relevant bodies such as PAEW seeking relief by increasing water reserves. PAEW has already submitted a tender and signed an agreement with some companies to provide water to each house in Al Hamra. The project will be completed soon. We will soon have a concrete solution to this problem.” He has also communicated with the Ministry of Regional Municipalities and Water Resources to establish much more dams.
Information Source: Muscat Daily