This is a large garden lying at a height of 1,871 metres in Wadi Gibal (Valley of the Mountains). Surrounded by a stone wall, it lies on several terraced levels and has an extensive system of stone water channels leading from an upper well to the lower garden. There are over 100 trees including pomegranates, figs, apricots, almonds, apples and vines.
The water table in the valley has sunk by several metres due to a decrease in rainfall and excessive drainage to coastal developments. Four of the wells were dry and the upper well, which had a small amount of water, was not enough for Sala to keep his trees alive. Sala and his family had no money to enable them to dig out this well.
Sala is 58 years old, married with six children and as a boy helped to build up this garden with his father. He was born in the stone house on the opposite side of the valley. When we first met Sala he was very sad and had almost given up hope.
The garden received sponsorship and Sala immediately began work on his well, working alongside the specialised well diggers who have the necessary skills for working in granite. Now the well is deeper, the sides have been repaired and Sala has water. He is delighted and has renewed strength to carry on with his work.
This garden has been sponsored by the Eden Project. Two members of the organisation have been out to visit the garden and take tea with Sala. Their intention is to bring a group from Eden to work on Sala’s dam in the near future.