Kingdom prays for rain

Updated 13 February 2015

Kingdom prays for rain

On a directive from Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman, istisqa (rain prayer) was performed in all parts of the Kingdom on Monday with the participation of governors of the regions and their deputies and senior government officials.
The sermons of the day pointed out that misdeeds prevent rainfall and they urged the members of the congregation to seek forgiveness and adhere to the Holy Qur’an and the teachings of the Prophet (peace be upon him), and be good Muslims.
According to Prophet’s traditions, istisqa prayers are conducted in the event of drought or delay in rainfall.
In a statement issued by the Royal Court, Muslims were urged to take part in the prayers, perform meritorious deeds, seek forgiveness and give charities magnanimously.
In addition to the major mosques in all parts of the Kingdom, the Grand Mosque in Makkah and the Prophet's Mosque in Madinah also conducted the prayers on Thursday. Istisqa prayers were also performed at universities and schools in various provinces of the Kingdom.
Riyadh Gov. Prince Faisal bin Bandar performed the prayers at Imam Turki bin Abdullah Mosque. The prayers were led by the president of Council of Senior Scholars and General Presidency of Scholarly Research and Ifta, Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdulaziz Al-Asheikh.
In Makkah, Gov. Prince Khaled Al-Faisal took part in the prayers conducted by Sheikh Abdul Rahman Al-Sudais.
In Madinah, the prayers were performed at the Prophet’s Mosque and attended by Undersecretary of Madinah Region Governorate Abdulmohsen bin Mohammed Al-Munif.
An official from the department of mosques at the Ministry of Islamic Affairs, Endowments, Dawa and Guidance said these prayers were conducted in mosques where the festival prayers are usually conducted during Eid Al-Fitr and Eid Al-Adha.
An official from the Saudi Wildlife Authority (SWA) told Arab News that the rains are ideal for good plant cover. “They will benefit flora and fauna. In the event of good rains during this season, we could also expect a more successful breeding season for the wildlife in spring.”
“The wetness will freshen up the vegetation and grasslands in the Central Province,” he said, adding that the rains will greatly benefit the wildlife, providing water and necessary food for its sustenance.”


Saudi Arabia bans livestock imports from Sudan and Djibouti over RVF fears

Updated 18 October 2019

Saudi Arabia bans livestock imports from Sudan and Djibouti over RVF fears

  • Sample from one livestock shipment arriving from Djibouti was found positive of Rift Valley fever
  • Livestock imports from Somalia had earlier been banned, says Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture

JEDDAH: The Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture has announced a ban on importing livestock from Sudan and Djibouti.

The ministry said the ban is a response to the announcement of World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) concerning documented cases of Rift Valley fever (RVF) in Sudan. 

In addition, a sample from one livestock shipment arriving from Djibouti was positive and thus was not cleared.

According to the ministry, Saudi Arabia imported 5 million heads of cattle from Sudan and 700,000 from Djibouti during the last Hijri year, prior to the ban.

The spokesman for the ministry, Abdullah Abalkhail, said that alternative sources include GCC, Jordan, Uruguay, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Australia, New Zealand, Pakistan, Georgia, Portugal, Hungary, Kazakhstan and Romania, as well as Chinese Mongolia, Argentine, Brazil and the US.

These countries can hardly compete with African states, said Al-Jadani, due to prices, different weather and customer demand. 

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Humaid Al-Jadani, a livestock merchant and a former member of the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce livestock committee, said 5 ships were about to arrive carrying up to 50,000 heads of cattle when the ban was announced, but were turned back.
  • He said that the Saudi market depends heavily on imports from Africa, specifically Sudan and Djibouti.
  • Prices have risen during the past two days by 30 percent and further rises are expected, said Al-Jadani.
  • Official reports from Sudan say that at least 135 cases of rift valley fever were documented in Sudan, in Kassala, Red Sea and northern Darfur. 

The domestic livestock, he added, covers the demand of a very low percentage of the market and the price of local sheep are very high.

All shipments are examined at their point of arrival and only healthy animals are allowed into the local market.

 

Regulations

The ministry has already banned livestock imports from Somalia.

“The ministry studies each country individually to put health regulations in line with the OIE and we follow up daily reports from the OIE to reduce the spread of the diseases among animals and people,” Abalkhail said.

Humaid Al-Jadani, a livestock merchant and a former member of the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce livestock committee, said five ships were about to arrive carrying up to 50,000 heads of cattle when the ban was announced, but were turned back.

He said that the Saudi market depends heavily on imports from Africa, specifically Sudan and Djibouti.

According Al-Jadani, prices have risen during the past two days by 30 percent and further rises are expected in the coming period.

The ministry has called on those working in the sector to contact officials on the hotline 8002470000 if they find any suspicious cases.

A fine up to SR1 million ($267,000) will be imposed on any company contravening the ban.

Official reports from Sudan say that at least 135 cases of RVF were documented in Sudan, in Kassala, Red Sea and Northern Darfur. According to the World Health Organization Sudan witnessed a huge RVF outbreak in 2007, while in Saudi Arabia RVF spread back in 2000.

The World Bank noted previously that six zoonotic diseases between 1997 and 2009 have led to a loss of $80 billion.

Officials believe that only through collaboration between various authorities in the health, biology and environment sectors the disease can be controlled.