Recycling ablution water advantageous

Published on 16 August 2012 in Health & Environment
Muaad Al-Maqtari (author), Ashraf Al-Muraqab (author)

Muaad Al-Maqtari


Ashraf Al-Muraqab

Ablution water is estimated at 3 billion cubic meters annually, according to the Environment Protection Authority.

Ablution water is estimated at 3 billion cubic meters annually, according to the Environment Protection Authority.

Mosques in Yemen number approximately 75,000, according to the Ministry of Endowment’s 2008 report. The statistics suggest the number could rise to 95,000 this year.

Although programs warn about water depletion in Sana'a Basin based on the current consumption rates, the water used for ablution in mosques across the nation reached 3 billion cubic meters annually, based on Environment Protection Authority estimates.

Water used for ablution cannot practically be used; it becomes greywater—water generated from activities such as household cleaning and shouldn’t be used otherwise—that exacerbates the already scant water resources.

Seven mosques could water Aden’s streets

The Natural Resources Sustainable Authority, funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development, is a project of the Environment Protection Authority. This project aims to reuse greywater in limited scopes.

Engineer Ali Al-Dabhani, a project participant, said the reuse of ablution water in seven mosques helped water greenery in Aden’s streets.

The green places in the streets, he said, are estimated at 10,000 square meters, starting from Rejil roundabout, passing Exhibitions Square, Airport Road and ending along the Abyan coast, roughly ten kilometers long.

The idea of the project proved successful. Thus, project organizers decided to launch a similar initiative in Taiz. Ablution water from six mosques will be used in Sala district in order to water planted areas on the road of Al-Hwban.

The ideal way

Engineer Ali Al-Adeemi, the Natural Resources Sustainable Authority manager, said recycling ablution water is an important way to preserve water resources, particularly for agricultural use. He said agriculture counts on groundwater.

"This program can be applied taking into account the environment and economic factors."

"Ablution water can be used to improve the environment and human health through irrigating the streets and the green places in cities like the gardens and the factories' botanical belts around the city," Al-Adeemi said.

If projects aim at recycling ablution water so as to repair and rehabilitate the green places, this will result in improving the air quality and mitigating the temperature, he said.

"This will be a lung for nature," he said.

An additional advantage of recycling ablution water is to provide grass for cattle grazing from the garbage. The recycled ablution water augments the green places and helps to decrease the use of drinking water for agricultural purposes.

Polluting water resources could also decrease due to organizing the distribution of ablution water.

The ideal way is to generalize the advantageous results of this project through educational campaigns targeting the public sector, the private sector and people connected with mosque construction, Al-Adeemi said.

He said some experts in the Environment Protection Authority are working to prepare a law that stipulates all bodies and persons building mosques ought to implement this program.