World Bank: Water Situation Alarming In Gaza

Ramallah, 24 Safar 1438/24 November 2016 (MINA) – The World Bank said in a statement issued Wednesday that Palestinian water resources are critically scarce, and the situation in Gaza is alarming.

Adnan Ghosheh, senior water and sanitation specialist, stated that only 10% of Gaza’s population has access to safe drinking water, compared to 90% in the West Bank or about 85% in Middle East and North Africa (MENA) in general.

Raw or poorly treated wastewater, which comes from densely populated areas and refugee camps in Gaza, infiltrates the aquifer or goes to the Mediterranean, he said.

As a result, you have a shortage of water coupled with high demand, given the high growth of population now close to two-million, according to his statement, the Palestinian Information Center (PIC) reported.

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“So there are issues both with the quality of water and the quantity of water, both are making access to improved drinking water very low.”
Ghosheh pointed out that here are some 150 operators who provide some kind of desalinated water that has been filtered to make it acceptable for drinking and for cooking.

It’s more expensive and not an improved source of water, according to our definitions of water clean enough to drink.

“In the past, Israel used to deliver good quantities of water, but the demand has increased with the population growth, and the volume of freshwater provided by Israel under the 1993 Oslo Accords falls far short of what it needs now.”

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The issue became more acute about 15 years ago, when water supply and availability quickly deteriorated. This water crisis has already led inhabitants to leave Gaza, he continued.

The World Bank statement revealed that there is also a challenge of access to water in the West Bank.

There are some areas where the daily water consumption per person is of 25–30 liters while the World Health Organization recommends 120 liters per capita per day, mainly because inhabitants of the West Bank are not getting enough water from the supplier, according to the statement.(T/P008/R07)

Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)