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WATER CRISIS IN GAZA

Think tanks, analysts and human rights organisations have highlighted the close link between water security and electricity supplies, and the near exhaustion of Gazas coastal aquifer.

According to a fact sheet produced by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), a power crisis in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT) has reduced the supply of running water in most households, with more than 30 percent of homes in Gaza receiving running water for just 6-8 hours every four days.

In March, a petition signed by nearly 13,000 people and organized by the Emergency Water and Sanitation-Hygiene Group (EWASH) - a coalition which includes national and international NGOs and UN agencies - was handed to the European Parliament to urge action to end the water crisis in Gaza.

The Palestinian Water Authority (PWA) released that “the scale and severity of the water crisis facing the Gaza Strip is enormous, and unless immediate action is taken, the damage to Gaza’s natural water resources will be irreversible.”

Furthermore, the population of Gaza is expected to continue growing in the next years, creating increased water and power needs. “The insufficient supply of electricity and fuel to operate water pumps and wells has caused a further reduction in the availability of running water in most households. This has increased peoples reliance on private, uncontrolled water suppliersand lowered hygiene standards,”reads OCHA OPT’s March fact sheet.

Israel is the major source of electricity in OPT. The Gaza Strip, specifically, is supplied with electricity from three sources: purchases from Israel (120 megawatts) and from Egypt (28 MW) and production by the Gaza Power Plant (GPP) (currently 60 MW). According to OCHA, this supply meets less than half of the estimated demand.

 

The gLAWcal Team

Monday, 19 May 2014

(Source: Eurasia Review)