As part of its efforts to implement far reaching sustainable programmes to benefit local communities, HSBC Bank Oman S.A.O.G. has formed a partnership with the Oman Water Society (OWS) to renovate and repair Al Maidan Falaj in Wilayat Nakhal. The repair aims to substantially enhance the flow of water by developing existing underground supplies, while also encouraging agricultural production in cultivated areas that are experiencing excessively dry weather conditions.
Over the next three months, volunteers from HSBC Bank Oman will support the project, starting with the renovation of the main canal, which has developed a blockage as a result of the accumulation of rock fragments. This will allow water from the source at Al Maidan Falaj to extend some 119 metres, to support the agricultural activities of.
Andrew Long, Chief Executive Officer, HSBC Bank Oman said, “We want to help raise awareness about rationalising water consumption and making the best possible use of available resources. The importance of Aflaj systems are not only noted for their overall agricultural significance but also because they have been established as must see tourist attractions that are unique to the Sultanate. Through this project, we are able to highlight how the effective management of freshwater resources can help sustain agriculture, ecosystems and communities, as well as contribute to the preservation of local heritage.”
In addition, Zaher Al-Sulimani, Chairman of the Oman Water Society added, “We are very excited about partnering with HSBC on this project. HSBC Bank Oman’s initiative reflects the importance of the private sector’s role in supporting civil society organisations. We look forward to celebrating the positive impact the completion of this project will have on the community in Wilayat Nakhal.”
With their ground-breaking solution to water-based challenges, Aflaj are traditional, technologically-advanced irrigation systems that are deep-rooted in Oman’s land and history, representing one of the many historically innovative achievements of the country. Oman currently has 4,112 Falaj systems, 3,017 of which are operational, producing enough to irrigate 17,600 hectors each year.
HSBC Bank Oman recognises its corporate responsibilities in Oman and continues to support initiatives that seek to deliver a positive contribution to the local communities in which it operates. HSBC Group’s investment in socially responsible projects reached US$117 million globally last year, with over 75% of these activities supporting educational and environmental causes.