Homs, SANA- The Water Resources Directorate in Homs on Monday released irrigation water from Lake Qattina Lake through the main channel experimentally, after a nine-year hiatus due to its sabotage at the hands of terrorists.
In a statement to SANA, Eng. Ismail Ismail, Director of the Water Resources, said that irrigation water was released today from Qattina Dam on an experimental basis through the main channel that reaches the northern countryside in Homs Province.
Eng. Ismail indicated that the Water Resources Directorate works on rehabilitating the entire irrigation network in the province through three organized contracts with the General Company for Water Projects with a value of SYP 371 million and with the General Company for Construction and Development with a value of SYP 85 million, in addition to the donor organization, the International Agriculture and Food Organization (FAO) which is working on rehabilitating secondary and field canals.
Ismail noted that the water was released today through the parts whose rehabilitation process have been accomplished, and it will be released in succession when the rest of the canals are ready to be used by farmers.
He added that this network irrigates about 11 thousand hectares in the northern countryside and in Talbiseh and al-Rastan region, and about twenty villages in the northern countryside benefit from it in a way that contributes to the revival of agricultural lands in the region which constitutes a food basket for Homs province.
Ismail stressed that with the release of water in the irrigation canal, farmers can optimally invest their lands, thus their living standards will be improved and the economy wheel will spin again in the northern countryside, indicating that it is expected that the network’s maintenance will be accomplished completely by the end of the current year.
Eng. Nazar Tayyara, Head of the Qattina Dam Investment Group, stated that after the maintenance of the gates was completed, they have become ready for investment, so today the water was released and secured for farmers, pointing out that currently storage in the Qattina Dam Lake is 171 million cubic meters out of the maximum storage of 200 million.
It is noteworthy that the main irrigation channel in the northern countryside is 47 km long, stretching from Lake Qattina to Hama, which, after the completion of its rehabilitation, will contribute to the revival of about 11 thousand hectares of agricultural lands in Homs and 7 thousand hectares in Hama.