“TheWaterChannel NewsFlash: September 19, 2012”
(all information taken directly from a Water Channel email we received on the subject )
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.
— 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.
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:email@example.com
Nasser Barakat, EWASH Advocacy Task Force Officer (Gaza) Tel: 0598910834, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
3 September 2009 – The top United Nations humanitarian official in the occupied Palestinian territory today joined aid agencies in calling for the immediate opening of Gaza’s crossings to allow the entry of spare parts and materials critical to restoring the area’s water and sanitation services.
“The deterioration and breakdown of water and sanitation facilities in Gaza is compounding an already severe and protracted denial of human dignity in the Gaza Strip,” Maxwell Gaylard said in a joint statement issued today with the NGO Association for International Development Agencies (AIDA).
“At the heart of this crisis is a steep decline in standards of living for the people of Gaza, characterized by erosion of livelihoods, destruction and degradation of basic infrastructure, and a marked downturn in the delivery and quality of vital services in health, water and sanitation,” added Mr. Gaylard, the Deputy UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process and UN Humanitarian Coordinator.
Israel’s closure of Gaza’s crossing points, imposed since June 2007, has meant that equipment and supplies needed for the construction, maintenance and operation of water and sanitation facilities have not been able to enter the area, leading to the deterioration of these services.
Currently, some 10,000 people do not have access to the water network, while another 60 per cent of Gaza’s population of 1.5 million do not have continuous access to water.
In addition, some 50 to 80 million litres of untreated and partially treated waste-water have been discharged daily into the Mediterranean Sea since January 2008, due to damage to sewage treatment facilities, lack of treatment capacity because of postponed plant upgrade projects, and a critical shortage of fuel and electricity necessary to operate them.
Mr. Gaylard and the non-governmental organizations (NGOs) called on the Israeli Government to take immediate steps to ensure the entry into Gaza of the necessary construction and repair materials to respond to the water and sanitation crisis.
“Without addressing both the immediate basic needs of the population and facilitating the longer-term development and management of the degraded water and sanitation sector, public health and the wider environment will remain at significant risk,” said the Humanitarian Coordinator.
“Pollution does not recognise borders or barriers, and communities throughout the region are threatened by the deficiencies of Gaza’s water and sanitation system,” he added.