SHARM EL-SHEIKH: Saudi Arabia plans to expand an initiative to green up mosques across the Kingdom as part of its ambitious climate and environmental initiatives, said a senior government official.
“For this initiative, we plan to have 100 mosques in five steps,” Hamoud Alotaibi, the chief financial officer of the Greening of Mosques Initiative, told Arab News.
“The first step is 20 mosques followed by another 20 until we finish and finalize the 100 mosques,” he said. “Though we have plans for another 100 or 200, it is not yet announced,” he added.
The project is integral to the Saudi Green Initiative and was launched last year by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
It falls under the “raise vegetation cover and reduce land degradation” pillar, one of the four SGI pillars on display at the UN Climate Change Conference, also known as COP27.
The project is also part of the nonprofit vegetation cover foundation “Morooj” and the General Authority for Awqaf, under the board chairmanship of the minister of environment, water and agriculture.
It aims to take advantage of neglected gray water from ablutions, specifically in mosques, as it constitutes nearly 65 percent of all water used throughout the Kingdom.
“Sixty-five percent of all used water in mosques is gray water. Taking this advantage, we are building and designing gray water treatment plants to plant more than 300 trees around the mosque,” said Alotaibi.
He added that they are also introducing playgrounds for children and landscaping to enhance the quality of life and raise the vegetation cover.
The project aims to turn the mosque areas into family-friendly spaces with promenades, while each mosque will contain a greywater treatment plant that will be used to irrigate the planted trees.