10 Million Euro Project to Provide Safe Drinking Water to Gaza

Palestine-first stone plantThe European Union and UNICEF have started the construction of a major seawater desalination plant, which will provide 75,000 Palestinians with safe drinking water in Gaza. It is expected to become operational in 2015. The project, to be implemented by UNICEF thanks to a €10 million grant from the European Union, will provide 6,000 m3 of desalinated seawater per day, to serve residents in Khan Yunis and Rafah in southern Gaza. The European Union Representative, John Gatt-Rutter, laid the first stone yesterday.
In his speech at the ceremony Mr Gatt-Rutter said: “Access to clean water is a fundamental human right for all. And yet many Gazans face acute water shortages on a day-to-day basis. Others can only access water of very poor quality. The launch of construction work on this desalination plant, offers the prospect of access to clean water for many thousands of families in Khan Younis and Rafah. It forms part of the EU’s wider commitment to improving the lives of Palestinians in both Gaza and the West Bank in particular in the area of water, sanitation and solid waste management.”
Desalination is the strategic option chosen by the Palestinian Water Authority (PWA). A comparative study conducted in 2011 concluded that it was the best, pragmatic solution to provide a consistent supply of safe, drinking water to the expanding population in Gaza.
The desalination of seawater from the Mediterranean will also help alleviate the over-extraction of groundwater, and preserve Gaza’s sole aquifer from total collapse. A 2012 United Nations’ report warned that over-extraction of groundwater could render the coastal aquifer unusable by 2016.
Only five to ten percent of the water extracted from the Coastal Aquifer has been found to be suitable for human consumption. Seawater, sewage and agricultural fertilizer intrusion have contaminated the water with high levels of chloride and nitrates, in some areas as high as six times the World Health Organization (WHO) limit.
As a result, more than four out of five Palestinians in Gaza buy their drinking water from unregulated, private vendors, a heavy burden on impoverished families and the 1.6 million Gazans living in one of the highest population-density areas in the world . Some are paying as much as a third of their household income on water whose quality they cannot trust, as an estimated four-fifths of the water sold by private vendors is contaminated.
The EU is a major actor in water and environmental protection in Palestine. Since 2006 it has invested nearly €74 million in the water, sanitation and solid waste management sectors, including €26 million exclusively on Gaza. In Gaza, apart from this short-term low-volume sea water desalination plant in the south, the EU is providing support for a large-scale solid waste management programme and the wastewater treatment plant (NGEST) in the north of the Strip. In the West Bank the EU is supporting the development of wastewater treatment plants in areas where water supply is scarce, such as Nablus, Tubas and Hebron.

Comments are closed.

Austrian Flag
Bild aus dem Parlament

Advertising? Werbung? Click on the picture below. Klicken Sie auf das Bild unten. kawther [dot] salam [at] gmail [dot] com


Advertising? Werbung? Click on the picture below. Klicken Sie auf das Bild unten. kawther [dot] salam [at] gmail [dot] com

Related Books

Support this site by buying these books at Amazon. Thank you!

Der Stephansplatz

Der Stephansplatz

Johann Strauß

Johann Strauß



Nikon (57)

Kurpark Oberlaa


Verbrechen in Israel

Add to Netvibes Creative Commons License