Zamzam project to be ready before Ramadan


Saudi Gazette report

MAKKAH — Work on the Zamzam well renovation project will be completed before the arrival of the holy month of Ramadan, according to officials.

More than 250 engineers, technicians and laborers, supported by 11 cranes, work round the clock to build five Zamzam water transits inside the Grand Mosque complex as part of a project to renovate the historic well.

The passages will be 8 meters wide and 120 meters long, said Sheikh Abdul Rahman Al-Sudais, chief of the Presidency of the Two Holy Mosques Affairs.

“About 50 percent of the work has already been completed and it is progressing well,” Al-Sudais told Al-Madina Arabic newspaper after a tour of the project site.

Work stops half an hour before the call for every prayer and resumes immediately after the prayer. Machines for digging and concrete work operate in the area while huge trucks carry the debris out of the mosque.

The project, which began three and a half months ago, is carried out under the close supervision of the presidency and will be completed in another three and a half months before the advent of the fasting month of Ramadan, when large numbers of pilgrims will visit Makkah for Umrah.

Since the beginning of the project, security agencies have been preventing worshippers except those in ihram from entering the mataf (circumambulation area) around the Holy Kaaba. Only Umrah pilgrims donning ihram clothes are allowed to perform tawaf in the ground level while other visitors perform tawaf in upper levels. Tawaf is not allowed on the roof of the mosque when the cranes operate as a safety precaution.

Umrah pilgrims can enter the mosque through gates No. 94, 93, 89, 88, and 87 where they will be directed to follow a new path to reach the mataf.

The Zamzam well project has two parts. The first part is to build five transits from the eastern side of the mataf while the second part involves sterilizing the water and removing concrete and iron particles from the area surrounding the well.

“The second phase of the project intends to purify the water as far as possible from harmful materials. It will also increase the outflow of Zamzam water,” an official close to the presidency told Al-Madina.

Sheikh Al-Sudais said the Zamzam water renovation project highlighted the government’s keenness to improve the facilities and services for pilgrims coming for Haj and Umrah and protect the historic Zamzam well.