Partnership between stakeholders urged to achieve development

October 09, 2008

(Jordan Times, Press Department - Mudawara) Her Majesty Queen Rania shared with residents of Al Mudawara village on Thursday their concerns and listened to their needs and challenges they are facing to help address them and improve their living conditions.

During a visit Thursday to the village, which is inhabited by some 1,000 people and one of the country's 20 poverty pockets, the Queen stressed the need to build an effective partnership between the community, civil society institutions and the government to achieve sustainable development.

At a meeting with the steering committee for local development in the area and community leaders, the Queen emphasised her keenness to work with the residents and concerned parties to realise positive results that make a difference to life in the village located in Al Jafer area in the southeastern tip of Maan Governorate.

The village's community leaders, who presented their needs and proposals for change, said the village needs a mosque, maintenance to the worn-out water networks and an upgrade to water and power supplies, in addition to better health and education services.

They also called for building a concrete water reservoir with a capacity of 200 cubic metres. They called for creating a youth centre and activating the role of women in local development.

On education, they called for establishing a Tawjihi (final high school level) classroom for girls, saying that their daughters who reach this level have no choice but to do home studies or quit school. The village also needs a kindergarten, they said.

On health, they called for supplying the primary healthcare centre in the area with an ambulance, noting the nearest full-fledged healthcare centre is about 15 kilometres away from the village.

Women have a say

Queen Rania, who was briefed on the results of a field survey carried by the Jordan River Foundation (JRF) in the area, said the presence of civil and government institutions at the meeting along with the JRF staff holds proof to the seriousness of efforts towards an effective partnership among them.

She also stressed that change requires time and effort.

Her Majesty stressed the need to implement productive and income-generating projects in the area and called on authorities to define the needs of the area to be discussed and addressed by the government, in partnership with the JRF.

Also Thursday, the Queen visited the girls school in Al Mudawara where she had a conversation with women from the town, along with school students in the school yard. She also talked to women at a class for illiteracy opened recently at the school.

Queen Rania also visited several needy families, including the family of Khalaf, who lives with his eight children and wife in a tent. The family will be provided with sheep to breed as a means of livelihood and fodder sufficient for six months.

Demands to be met

The Queen gave instructions to build houses for needy families after studying their cases and to provide the healthcare centre in the area with the needed ambulance.

According to a Royal Court statement, the JRF will work in cooperation with the Maan Water Department and the Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation to build a concrete water reservoir with a sufficient capacity to meet the needs of the area.

Representatives of concerned ministries and authorities stressed that they will meet the needs of the residents in the area.

In addition, a new healthcare centre will be established in the village and a Tawjihi class for females, the statement said.

The JRF will work in cooperation with women from the area to complete the creation of a society for women, according to the statement, which indicated that the JRF will create a kindergarten and extend rotating loans.

The statement indicated that a total of 15 families in the area will be provided with cattle to breed and fodder sufficient for six months as part of a programme by the Ministry of Agriculture.

Also Thursday, the Queen checked on the farm of Suleiman Atneh, who visited the Agriculture Ministry at the New Mexico University and is cooperating with the Mexican side in using advanced agricultural techniques.

The 3,000-dunum farm, half of which is planted with potato, onions, grains, grapes and other crops, created some 18 permanent jobs and 30-100 seasonal jobs, Atneh said.