The Gaza Post|The News of Palestine-Gaza
A media campaign was launched in Gaza City on Saturday about the catastrophic situation of water in the Gaza Strip and the demand of the international community to resolve the crisis.
The campaign, which involves several water institutions operating in the Gaza Strip, international figures and Palestinian activists, continues for a week
At the same time, the campaign launched the launch of social media activists in the Gaza Strip in Arabic and English.
“The water resources available to the population in the Gaza Strip are very limited,” said Mazen al-Banna, deputy head of the Water Authority in the Gaza Strip, during the campaign’s launch in Gaza City. He pointed out that the capacity of the coastal aquifer in the Gaza Strip, Exceeding 50 cubic meters annually, while the needs of the population is not less than 250 cubic meters per year.
Al-Banna added, “We have a large deficit, which has negative repercussions, including sea water intrusion, noting that the wells near the sea are salte to 1000 mg of chloride and that the maximum water salinity should be 250 mg per liter according to the World Health Organization.
Al-Banna said that the groundwater reservoir suffers because of its proximity to the surface of the earth and the presence of high permeable sandy soil in addition to the leakage of sewage water to it.
Maher Salem, director general of the Gaza Municipality’s water department, said that Gaza currently has 80 wells, 67 of which are produced daily and more than 100,000 cubic meters of water.
Salem added, “Unfortunately, there is no well for human use, but only for my home and despite the existence of a number of our plans and projects to solve the problems of the water situation, but that collides with several obstacles stand in front of their implementation.
Salem pointed out that there is an alternative way to overcome the problem is to import the water of Makrout from the Israeli side at the rate of five million cubic meters annually, pointing out that there is a plan to import another 5 million liters for Gaza’s annual water needs exceeding 30 million cubic meters per year.
Bahaa al-Din al-Agha, director-general of the General Directorate of Environmental Protection of the Palestinian Environmental Quality Authority, said his authority was seriously concerned about the water shortage in the Gaza Strip.
Al-Agha said in his speech that the percentage of contamination of the groundwater tank amounted to 98%, indicating that it is unable to meet the requirements of the population almost completely.
Al-Agha pointed out that the percentage of the energy deficit reached 70%, which led to the lack of water to the homes for several consecutive days, and blamed Israel fully for the reality of water in the sector.
UNRWA director of operations for the Gaza Strip Boshak said “Several years ago, the United Nations launched the Gaza 2020 report, which sounded the alarm about the problems facing the Gaza Strip by this year,take concrete steps to reverse what could happen by then”.
He called on all parties, the need to implement energy and electricity projects and infrastructure development and a solution to the problem of unemployment, pointing out that UNRWA is working with sister institutions to address these problems as much as possible.
A UN report has warned that the Gaza Strip, home to 2 million people, is facing an escalating water crisis that could render the sector uninhabitable within a few years.
At the time, the UN report stated that ground water, the only source of drinking water, would be currently unusable and could not be repaired by 2020.
Source:The Gaza Post