Salalah: The Directorate of Tourism in Dhofar Governorate has launched ‘Beautification Campaign of Ain Jarziz’ on Saturday with a move to improve the aesthetic of the famous water spring, which is an attraction for tourists throughout the year.
The campaign was part of the Directorate’s initiative to raise awareness about environment conservation on the occasion of Earth Day. Scores of tree saplings were planted apart from cleaning the spring and its waterways on the occasion.
A large number of people including both nationals an expatriates took part in the Earth Day celebration, which according to the event organisers, “was successful in conveying the messages of conservation of environment and cleanliness of tourism spots”
Marwan Abdul Hakeem al Ghassani, Director of Tourism Promotion Department, said the campaign also marked the beginning of the preparation for the Khareef (monsoon) season, which attracts thousands of visitors from the neighbouring GCC and Middle Eastern countries.
“In all such events we involve the communities because they are the people who have to know that these natural resources are not only important from environment point of view, they add value to national economy by becoming major resources of water and agriculture. Here lays the uniqueness of Salalah, which is known as the Jewel of Gulf due to availability of natural resources,” he said.
Ain Jarziz spring serves as a main channel for natural water for cattle and farms downstream the Salalah dam. The spring has 1,720 metres of traditional masonry hollow blocks and cemented rip rap open channel through the spill way channel. It also has 75 metres of fusible ridg through the spillway channel.
The campaign, according to Marwan, was a joint initiative of Dhofar Municipality, Directorate of Environment and Climate Affairs, Land Rover Oman Team and Mohsen Haider Darwish.
The participants called for active involvement of the community in such drives, as they are the end users. “The issue demands everyone’s attention because this is not possible by the government or any one agency to tackle. Citizens play important role in conserving water and saving it from pollution,” said another official of the Ministry of Tourism.
“Rich with 360 natural springs, Dhofar is a major centre for vegetation and agricultural activities in Oman. Annual monsoon keeps the springs recharged, still there is a challenge of protecting from them from any kind of pollution,” said an official of the Ministry of Regional Municipalities and Water Resources.
Such drives, according to him, help in drawing joint plans to improve the aesthetics of such sites, which is important for all the stakeholders of tourism, civic bodies and environment.
To make the call of Earth Day more effective, the event participants felt the need of spreading this message more effectively through educational institutions, communities and public and private establishments.
“It is important to keep the natural springs clean. Dhofar is lucky to have so many springs spread over the length and breadth of the governorate,” they said.