Muscat – As part of its efforts to support the water sector and farmers, the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Water Resources (MAFWR) restored 70 aflaj in 2021.
An official at MAFWR said, “The ministry’s specialists repaired 70 aflaj including eight in Muscat governorate, four in North Batinah, nine in South Batinah, four in Musandam, five in Dakhliyah, 26 in North Sharqiyah, four in South Sharqiyah, and ten in Dhofar.
“Aflaj maintenance aims to support the water sector in the sultanate and farmers. Aflaj are considered one of the major traditional water sources on which Omanis have depended for irrigation for ages. The aflaj types vary according to the geology and hydrology of the area.”
There are 4,112 aflaj in the governorates across Oman. The ministry official added that 842 licences were issued in January 2022 to drill new wells.
“The maximum number of licences were issued in the Governorate of Dakhliyah (223 licences), followed by 170 in North Batinah, 153 in Dhahirah, 102 in North Sharqiyah, 99 in South Batinah, 38 in Buraimi, 33 in South Sharqiyah, 12 in Dhofar, five in Muscat, four in Musandam and three in Al Wusta,” said the official.
The official added that the ministry deals with these projects in accordance with the technical requirements and gives conditional approvals in coordination with other government agencies.
According to MAFWR, Oman received an average rainfall of 123mm in 2020.