A UN report warned this week that damage to the coastal aquifer in Gaza will be irreversible without immediate remedial action,” .The section of the aquifer underneath Gaza cannot cope with the demographic pressures of the tiny strip and s contaminated with untreated sewage due to Gaza’s dilapidated wastewater treatment infrastructure.“There will be virtually no reliable access to sources of safe drinking water, a lack of clean drinking water is one of the region’s greatest concern”. The report states that the water needs of Gazans has increased by 60 percent, and that urgent action is necessary to protect their current water source, a single aquifer that is estimated to become unusable by 2016. The report also says that more desalination plants will be needed in the near future.
The lack of clean water is also hugely affecting the Health sector and medical complaints of the people in Gaza.
“We have respiratory diseases, skin diseases, eye diseases, gastroenteritis, which can all be linked to polluted water,” said Mohamed Al-Kashef, general director of the international cooperation department in the Gaza health ministry.
One of the child diseases connected to polluted water is Methemoglobinemia, or the blue-baby syndrome, which has occurred among babies born in Gaza. It is believed that high nitrate contamination in groundwater is causing the disease.
“Diarrhea, which has become very common in the Gaza Strip, is most likely linked to poor hygiene standards and lack of clean water and sanitation. For the International community, these reports and facts should be taken as an advantage, it is rare opportunity to have pre-warning of an impending disaster and another reason to demand the lifting of the siege to avoid such a humanitarian disaster.
The Waqaf, Water 4 Gaza project is also another ample opportunity to highlight these problems. This project, honourable and badly needed in Gaza is not sustainable. Yes, it is providing half a million bottles of water to all sections and sectors of the Strip, but for how long?. Donations like this are , right now, the only option for Gazans to have clean water but longer term, more sustainable solutions are needed and this is the second objective of PGPF, to highlight the fact that Gaza needs constant, consistent supplies of clean , fresh water, to survive, That the Siege on Gaza is literally , draining the life out of Gaza by the denial of repairs and reconstruction to it’s water , sewage and Sanitation services Infrastructure.
This week we continued in our distributions to the Hospitals….. General Hospitals, Pediatric and Psychological hospitals in Gaza . We spoke to and Interviewed the staff from these hospitals who reiterated the desperate need’s of the patients and staff and their gratitude to Perdana for this help.
We also distributed directly in areas of the north of the strip, to areas and people living ” on the front line”, the buffer zone, who have little or no access to services or infrastructure, whose homes and livelihoods are regularly under attack from Israel. This distribution was done with the help and co-operation of employees from the Yazegi Group, ( the bottling plant actually producing the quantity of water for Perdana) and local Initiative group from Beit Hanoun. We drove the truck into the area and literally handed out the cartons of water to the children around the truck and into peoples homes who could not make it out.
We will continue with more Hospitals, as well as the Christian area, Al amal orphanage and some Cultural and Childrens Centre’s this week. We appreciate your support in sharing this blog, this project , the pictures etc………….and we ask you to continue to use this project to highlight the effect of a crippling siege on Gaza.
People can make a difference, get in touch with your MEP’s, your Politicians, Lobby these people, use your media outlets , Demand a lifting of the Siege. …
This siege has been in effect for 6 years, in another 6 years it will be too late for many of these people…ACT NOW !!!
Pictures by :
Hussien Amody facebook , http://www.hussienphoto.weebly.com/
and Local Initiative group, facebook