The Presidency of the Two Holy Mosques in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia announced that it is currently studying a proposal to afforest the squares of the Grand Mosque, with the aim of making use of the exposed area above the escalators in the squares.
According to the Saudi newspaper “Sabq” website, Sheikh Abd al-Rahman bin Abdulaziz al-Sudais, the general president for the affairs of the Grand Mosque and the Prophet’s Mosque, was briefed on the proposal to plant squares in the Grand Mosque, in the presence of members of the committee formed by him to discuss the matter.
Al-Sudais said, “The proposal came in line with Saudi Arabia’s ambitious vision 2030, through setting up sustainable development plans and strategy, including the National Environment Strategy, the Vegetation Restoration Strategy, and other strategies.”
He pointed out that the goal of afforestation is “to mitigate the effects of climate change, including reducing temperatures, reducing pollution rates, improving and tempering air quality, and transforming squares to be environmentally friendly, through decorations and shades, in line with the climatic conditions in the region with the aim of improving the quality of life.”
Al-Sudais indicated that “the treated ablution water will be recycled and used in the irrigation process.”
Al-Sudais stressed that “the proposal requires scientific, technical and operational study, while ensuring that the areas designated for prayer or crowd movement are not affected.”
According to the proposal, it will be possible to “take advantage of the exposed area above the escalators in the courtyards of the Grand Mosque; to be like agricultural ponds, and at the same time shade and cover the stairs, and protect them from climatic conditions.”
He added that “the irrigation system and drainage of agricultural ponds will be provided, in addition to using the vertical farming system, to be on bridge columns in squares and huge concrete walls after carrying out the necessary engineering solutions to protect these facilities in accordance with international standards.”