Monday, June 4, 2012

Syrian refugees draining water-poor Jordan dry

Terra Daily via AFP: Tens of thousands of Syrian refugees who have fled from carnage and violence at home to neighbouring Jordan are draining the desert kingdom's meager water resources, officials and experts say.

It is a new challenge for Jordan, one of the world's 10 driest countries, where desert covers 92 percent of its territory and the population of 6.7 million is growing by 3.5 percent a year.

The tiny Arab country has given refuge to waves of Palestinian and Iraqi refugees because of regional conflicts over the past decades, and now the kingdom is hosting up to 120,000 Syrians.

"The majority of Syrian refugees are concentrated in the northern cities of Mafraq, Irbid, Ramtha, Jerash and Ajlun. All of these areas already suffer from water shortage," Fayez Bataineh, secretary general of the Water Authority, told AFP....

The town of Jerash in Jordan, shot by Jeanhousen, Wikimedia Commons, under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license

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