Human RightsPalestine

Report: 70 per cent of Gaza’s water installations are malfunctioning

images_News_2014_07_28_gaza_300_0 (1)Head of the Palestinian Water Authority Shaddad Attili confirmed that 70 per cent of the water installations in Gaza Strip are malfunctioning as a result of being targeted in the Israeli army attacks or due to power and fuel shortage.

This led to a decrease of 70-80 per cent in comparison to the original quantities, in addition to the deteriorating water, health, and environmental situation.

In a press statement, Attili warned of the serious risks faced by the people of Gaza Strip as one of the most populated places on earth due to the continued blockade and water pollution and the lack of power to run vital installations.

He pointed out that the water authority crews have not been able till now to evaluate the damage caused by the Israeli war on Gaza Strip due to the continued hostilities against the civilians and infrastructure .The preliminary estimates for the necessary repairs in the water sector reached nearly five million dollars.

He added that among nearly one million people out of 1.8 million citizens are deprived of drinking water as a result of the sewer lines damage and the accumulation of waste.

He reported that more than 110 thousand people who sought refuge in UNRWA schools, public schools, other families’ homes and public squares are facing water shortage due to the frequent targeting of water lines or the inability of the water cisterns to meet the people’s needs.

Attili warned of the imminent danger resulted of the flow of wastewater in many areas especially in north Gaza (Beit Hanoun, Beit Lahia) after the targeting of sewer lines and sanitary pumps, in addition to power shortage and sewer flooding that may lead to the spread of diseases and epidemics.

He pointed out that five members of the technical teams were killed after being targeted while working to repair the damages, saying that they cannot reach some areas especially the civilian communities on the northern borders of Gaza (almost 600 thousand people).

Attili emphasized that war crimes were committed in Gaza Strip including the significant targeting of the Strip’s infrastructure, water supply and sanitation.

It resulted in the destruction of water utilities such as water wells, water pipes and networks and the mixing of sewage and potable water.

He explained that the preliminary assessment of the relief needs for water works and sewage reached more than five million dollars and approximately twenty million dollars to repair the sanitation infrastructure damage.

He called on water sector’s donor countries and international organizations to support the efforts of the “Water Authority”, international organizations and the Red Cross to meet water and sanitation humanitarian needs and to provide support for the provision of drinking water for the displaced people and for the entire population in the Gaza Strip in general.

He stressed the need to work immediately to provide safe corridors, to stop targeting technical crews and fuel and water tanks, and to enable Water Authority and municipal crews to restore the artesian wells and desalination plants that have been directly or indirectly targeted.

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