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News Water supply & sewage system "collapsing" in Gaza

The UN has warned that power networks were down in large parts of the Gaza Strip on 4 January, with hospitals relying on generators. Without power for pumps, 70 percent of Gazans are estimated to be without tap water.

The Israeli Gisha organisation, an NGO, said seven of the 12 electricity lines in the enclave (the 12 lines normally supply about 70 percent of Gaza's electricity) were down, and warned that the lack of power was causing sewage to flood into populated areas and farmland. There continued to be a risk of sustained flooding.

On the other hand, and due to the current situation in the Gaza Strip that was imposed by the Israeli military operations since Saturday 27/12/2008, the Coastal Municipalities Water Utility "CMWU" announced its inability to (failure) maintain its services in both the water sector in terms of production and distribution and wastewater sector in terms of collection and discharging in Gaza Strip governorates. Despite our several appeals to all international aid agencies and organizations to help out and support their technical teams in keeping all water and wastewater facilities operational and repairing the infrastructure damages and destructions caused by the Israeli bombarding, but all these requests were declined until this moment.

In addition to the continuation of many obstacles during the past three years such as closures and sieges, the CMWU faced acute shortage in necessary spare parts, equipments, and machines for affording the required infrastructural services and had to deal with electricity insufficiency and fuel (diesel) shortage as power supply alternative for restoring these services.

According to the above, the CMWU would like to brief the followings:

1. The water carrier line between Al-Moghraga wells and Nussierate city was damaged due to Israeli air strikes to nearby El Zahraa'a and Nussierate Bridge . As a result, more than 30,000 residents in Nussierate city are inaccessible to water services.

2. Complete destruction of El-Edara Well in eastern side of Jabalia city. As a result, more than 25,000 residents in Jabalia city are inaccessible to water services. "CMWU" wants to state that the well operator has been deceived due to Israeli bombarding.

3. The main electrical transistor that belongs to El Shiekh Ejleen water well has been damaged. As a result, more than 40,000 residents of southern Tal El Hawa city and the surrounding residential towers
are out of water services.

4. The main 12" steel water carrier that supply 40% of total water produced from Gaza city northern side has been destroyed due to the Israeli military operations. As a result, more than 200,000 residents in Gaza city are out of vital water source.

5. Main sewerage line in Bait Hanoun city has been destroyed by the Israeli military actions. The line is not repaired until this moment, which caused health hazardous consequences.

6. The main power generator in Beit Lahia wastewater treatment plant "BLWWTP" has been targeted by the Israeli military operations, which halted the CMWU from carrying on its services in collection and
discharging the wastewater in Beit Lahia city. In addition to several damages in several wastewater networks due to continuous Israeli shelling.

7. Due to the presence of the Israeli troops in Netzarim area, the CMWU states that the Gaza Wastewater Treatment Plant is completely out of operation and yet the plant is unable to discharge the wastewater
to the sea. As a result, the collection ponds are threatened to be broken down at any moment in which it will impose serious catastrophic humanitarian, health, and environmental consequences on the surrounding lives and properties from danger of sewerage floods.

8. Since the beginning of the Israeli military operations in Gaza Strip, the wastewater level in main Beit Lahia discharging pond is increasing due to power shortage and lack of fuel in the plant. As a result, major catastrophe shall threaten the lives of thousands of residents of eastern Beit Lahia city of danger of drowning in the sewage flooding.

9. The Coastal Municipalities Water Utility "CMWU" assures that it has applied for several coordination requests from the Israeli side and through the Palestinian Water Authority "PWA", International Committee of Red Cross "ICRC", UNRWA, and all international humanitarian aid organizations working in Gaza strip to facilitate the
CMWU to repair all the aforesaid dama ges points, and to distribute the fuel (diesel) to all water and wastewater facilities that was donated by UNRWA as an urgent aid to CMWU, but all these requests were
declined and failed until this moment.

The Coastal Municipalities Water Utility "CMWU" appeals all international humanitarian aid organizations allover the world for quick and prompt intervention and involvement with the Israeli side to allow the CMWU for providing and affording the minimum basic water and wastewater services and restoring the operational capability of its water and wastewater facilities to avoid further serious catastrophic humanitarian, health, and environmental consequences under this hard situation in Gaza Strip.



Contact information n/a
News type Inbrief
File link
Source of information IRIN & The Coastal Municipalities Water Utility "CMWU"
Keyword(s) Coastal Municipalities Water Utility
Geographical coverage Palestine, Israel
News date 05/01/2009
Working language(s) ENGLISH