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Walling out Water in West Bank

Wed, 19Sep2012 Comments off

“TheWaterChannel NewsFlash: September 19, 2012″

(all information taken directly from  a Water Channel email  we received on  the subject )

  The Water Channel  - about

 West Bank, Palestine, is divided into areas A, B and C, based on the extent of Israeli control over them. Walls demarcate the areas, restricting movement and access. This fragments the territory in a way that cuts people off from aquifers that should be their natural water sources, and keeps them from developing/ fully utilizing their water infrastructure.

These videos depict how this has led to severe water scarcity in West Bank, and how people have to cope with it.

Besides, a situation of conflict leads to groundwater extraction while discouraging recharge, as this perspective from Ethiopia suggests. How else, in your experience, does it hamper long-term groundwater potential? Please share your thoughts in the Comments section under one of these videos.

With Regards,
TheWaterChannel Team

— end of news flash——

Note from Washlink:  Many NGO Organizations  seem to skirt /ignore/ avoid/ write off  this  part of the world. I guess a large part of the logic for this is  for the sake of neutrality, and   shall I say it: … and not wanting to offend large financial contributors (private and corporate).   I am glad to see the WaterChannel Team has the courage  to present  these  video’s. Bravo!   My wish of course  is that  we shall some day soon open up a larger, longer  productive  dialog around this topic.

Palestine: water an essential for peace

Thu, 01Apr2010 Comments off

here is press release we are forwarding  from EWASH

Press Statement: 22 March 2010

WATER MUST BE IMMEDIATELY ADDRESSED IN THE ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN CONFLICT

On World Water Day 2010 on the 22nd March, the Emergency Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Group (EWASH) calls upon the Israeli government and International community to resolve the issue of water in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Both Israel and the International community must ensure that obstacles to the provision of water and sanitation services in the occupied Palestinian territory are removed, guaranteeing Palestinians equal access to sufficient supplies of clean water. Only then will the Palestinian people be able to enjoy their basic human right to water and sanitation.

18 organisations working in the water and sanitation sector in the occupied Palestinian territory, raise concerns over restrictions in Palestinians access to adequate quantities of safe water, particularly in the Gaza Strip. The EWASH calls for an immediate opening of Gaza’s border crossings to allow unrestricted access for materials and spare parts critically needed to restore Gaza’s water and sanitation services.

90 % of water for domestic supply in the Gaza Strip is below the minimum World Health Organisation (WHO) standard for drinking water. “The poor quality of drinking water and pollution of water resources in the Gaza Strip is a matter of grave concern” said Jeremy Hobbs, Executive Director of Oxfam International. “The lack of safe drinking water in Gaza forces people to use water from unregulated water vendors or agricultural wells that are unfit for human use.”

The Coastal Aquifer, Gaza’s sole source of water, is heavily contaminated. This is partly due to a lack of adequate sewage treatment. The situation is exacerbated by the blockade, which restricts the entry of materials necessary for the repair, operation and maintenance of both water and sewage networks and desalination plants on which the majority of the Gazan population is dependent. This has a detrimental impact on the immediate humanitarian response and long term reconstruction and rehabilitation of water and sanitation infrastructure in the Gaza Strip.

50-80 million litres of untreated and partially treated wastewater are discharged daily from Gaza into the Mediterranean Sea. This is due to damaged sewage treatment facilities, postponed treatment plant upgrade projects, and a shortage of fuel and electricity necessary to operate sewage pumps and treatment plants. This has caused environmental damage and represents a health threat to both Gazans and Israelis.

The health of the Gazan population is suffering as a result of inadequate water and sanitation services. The increase in typhoid and high rates of bloody diarrhoea in Gaza are a result of deteriorating sanitary and hygiene conditions. According to Mr. Jerry Farrell, Country Director for Save the Children Alliance in the oPt and Gaza “Infants under six months are most at risk from contaminated water that carries extremely high levels of nitrates and other pollutants as well as diarrhoea-causing bacteria. We must do whatever is necessary to make sure families especially those with small children are receiving decent drinking water.”

In the West Bank, Israeli imposed movement and access restrictions due to road blocks, checkpoints and the Wall have cut many Palestinian communities off from their water resources. Israeli imposed restrictions on building and rehabilitation in Area C (61% of the West Bank), including for water and sanitation services and facilities, also leave people with minimum quantities of water. In order to maintain daily drinking water supplies, Palestinians living in Area C have become dependent on water sources which are often unsafe, such as springs, tankers and cisterns.

For more information please contact:
Cara Flowers, EWASH Advocacy Task Force Officer (West Bank) Tel: 0575538529, Email:cflowers@oxfam.org.uk
Nasser Barakat, EWASH Advocacy Task Force Officer (Gaza) Tel: 0598910834, Email: nbarakat@oxfam.org.uk

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