rejuvenation of Falaj al Marad
of Falaj al Marad is significant in the lives of the people
of Al Draiz village in the wilayat of Ibri. In
fact, the falaj had sustained the farming community in this
small green village until the 90s when the indigenous water
channel turned truant, inexorably affecting the lush plantations
of date palms and other crops. The
turn of events was inexplicable, leaving the people with
no solution in sight. The
fertile lands turned hostile and healthy date palms began
to wither away. During
the 80s, the falaj sourced adequate water to keep everyone
happy. In the 90s, the flow began to dwindle and in 96,
it dried up completely.
The heavy flow of Falaj al Marad
farmers were hard hit and the only thing they could do was
to pray to the Almighty to answer their prayers for water.
The government, meanwhile, did its best to alleviate the
misery of the people by pumping water from a nearby area.
however, was insufficient to irrigate the lands. In
May 97, the miracle happened and skies opened, lavishing
the lands with unstoppable rains. The
phenomenal rains led to the flooding of the nearby Wadi
al Kabir, which then submerged parts of the town. Strangely,
despite the massive rains, Falaj al Marad was still not
showing any signs of revival and the only water that flowed
through it was that which flowed into it from overground.
curious phenomenon made the authorities to sit up and wonder
whatever had happened to the falaj.
A water-logged date palm plantation in
Al Draiz village
A luxuriant farm of date palms in Al Draiz village
Experts were summoned and they immediately
found out that the falaj was blocked somewhere and hence the
water was not flowing through it. Now, the most difficult
thing was to locate the block.
The job was not easy as at some places the
falaj ran underground at depths of 10 metres. Getting to
such depths was not at all easy and a massive search was
undertaken to pinpoint the block.
Falaj al Marad runs seven km underground
from the mother spring before making its first surface appearance.
Digging was undertaken at the suspected spots and the blockage
was eventually traced.
The water gushed forth like a roaring river
and ever since has been flowing at full pace in the falaj.
The rejuvenation of Falaj al Marad was celebrated with much
gaiety by Al Draiz villagers.
There was singing and dancing and firing
of guns, besides camel and horse races to mark the nature's
Date palms stand against all odds
due to water-logging
The celebrations were spontaneous as till a
few days ago, they had traversed to nearby areas to fetch
water even for their household use, not to speak of irrigation
water, which was only a dream those days. The
drought scenario had all of a sudden changed dramatically
and there was abundance of water now for them as well as the
The falaj water began to gradually increase
and there was definitely all reasons to be joyous.
People loved to have an early morning bath in the falaj water
as it was very warm. The scenic setting of the date palm plantations
pulsated with life due to the gushing falaj, which in some
spots ran like a river.
This remarkable transformation was, however,
short-lived as the villagers of Al Draiz were soon beset with
another shock of their life, this time strangely from abundance
of water, Rashid bin Mohammed al Ghafri, whose father owns
After the 97 rains and the subsequent rejuvenation
of Falaj al Marad, the people of Al Draiz had thought that their
days of troubles were over.
However, the flow of water in the falaj increased
day by day and slowly began to overflow into the date palm plantations.
One hoped that it would be a temporary phenomenon.
However, it was not to be so. Meanwhile, in some farmlands, springs
gushed forth and led to water logging in date plantations.
The water-logged farms are a nightmare to farmers
as many date palms in them have begun to rot. The farmers have
made representations to the authorities concerned regarding their
problems, but are yet to find a way out of their predicament.
The government is not in a position to provide
a quick solution as the problem of water-logging cannot be tackled
easily. If lack of water was the problem faced by the farmers
earlier, now the excess of it is plaguing them. They are hoping
for a way out of the difficult situation.