The United Arab Emirates has begun construction of the first of 43 dams to trap rainfall in 15 valleys in the north and east of the country, a newspaper reported Friday. Construction of the first 28 dams, at a cost of 50 million dirhams ($13.6 million), began on November 25 and is expected to be completed within one year, Khaleej Times said.
"The project report has already been finalized, and contracts for constructing the dams have been awarded to various companies," the paper said, adding that construction of the remaining 15 dams will begin in March 2001.
The largely desert state of the UAE currently has 40 dams with a capacity of 100 million cubic metres (3.5 billion cubic feet) of water. The UAE's coastal cities do not see significant rainfall, but the Hajjar mountain range in the north and east often has heavy downpours that lead to sometime-fatal flash floods in the surrounding gravel plains. — (AFP, Dubai)
© Agence France Presse 2000
© 2000 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )