I was watching Jordan TV’s “60 Minutes” and the two topics this week were the sewage problem s in Zarqa and the cement factory in Fuheis. With the Zarqa issue, as many know, sewage has been flowing into the Zarqa river. What I found interesting on the show was that (I believe it was) the Minister of Irrigation who said that some social responsibility needs to play a role as people in Zarqa have been inclined to steal the manhole covers in order to sell them at scrap yards, only to have children filling them up with rocks. (insert chuckle here)
Now knowing this country and it’s people pretty well there’s probably some truth to this in an “only in Jordan” kind of way, but also knowing the government pretty well: stop and think for a moment about the series of actions taking place here: a manhole cover is stolen followed by groups of children who decide that their idea of fun is to hurl rocks into the gaping holes. Think about that for a minute. Think about how many times that specific series of events needs to take place in order for it to cause the huge problem that it is. Once? Twice? Three times a problem? Four times a social phenomenon?
Also on the show was the cement factory in Fuheis which has been an environmental hazard since the 1990’s. A spokesman for the factory (owned by France’s LaFarge) said that studies have shown the production of cement there has no connection to the respiratory problems of the inhabitants of Fuheis. This is regardless of the large numbers of people who have kids with an asthma puffer for a best friend. And this is regardless of the explosions and the dunes of cement left to blow all over the city.
But if they’re right: if the factory really has nothing to do with the respiratory problems of the people of Fuheis and their children who use to breath a little better in the 80’s, then the government may have a much larger problem on its hands. What if everyone in Fuheis is just so intermarried that at this point they all have hereditary severe allergies to dust? Or, or…now bear with me here…what if the people of Fuheis are suddenly giving birth to a generation of humans who have the capability to breath under water and thus the dust-laden oxygen we normal humans depend on is merely poisonous to their new evolutionary respiratory systems.