Jordan Current Affairs

Jordon launches Sahara Forest Project

Jordan, a water-poor country that is 90% desert, has launched Sahara Forest Project near the southern port city of Aqaba to turn desert land into farming land to produce food using sun and sea water.

The project seeks to demonstrate innovative application of technology to revolutionize our land systems in a way that benefits the climate, people, and businesses. It is funded by Norway and European Union.

Key Facts

Sahara Forest Project aims to provide fresh water, food and renewable energy in hot, arid regions as well as re-vegetating areas of uninhabited desert. It combines saltwater-cooled greenhouses with solar power technologies, and technologies for desert revegetation.

In the first stage, the project aims to produce up to 130 tonnes of organic vegetables annually from area size of four football pitches. It will also produce fresh water. It will use solar panels to provide power and include outdoor planting space, water desalination unit, two saltwater-cooled greenhouses and salt ponds for salt production. In later stages, it is expanded to be expanded from three hectares to around 200 hectares of desert.

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Saudi Arabia along with GCC launches military operation against Houthi rebels in Yemen

Saudi Arabia along with Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and several other countries have started military operations against Houthi rebels in Yemen.

The operations were stated after Yemeni President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi had requested to counter radical Houthi movement in the country and to defend and support the legitimate government of Yemen.

The military operation included series of airstrikes which targeted Presidential Palace in Yemen’s capital Sanaa.

The countries included in the operation led by Saudi Arabia are Jordan, Sudan, Morocco, Egypt and Pakistan along with GCC member countries. GCC members involved are United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain, Qatar and Kuwait.

United States also has announced authorised logistical and intelligence support to Saudi Arabia led military operations, but has clearly mentioned that its forces will not participate in operations directly.

Indian Government also has issued advisory asking Indian nationals in Yemen to leave the country in view of the continuing fragile situation there.

Background

  • The security situation in Yemen deteriorated after the Shia Houthis rebels had seized power by dissolving Yemen’s government and parliament in January 2015.
  • Since then rebels had taken control of key government buildings in capital Sanaa including Presidential Palace. They also had taken control and seized city of Taiz, third largest city of Yemen.

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