Gaza water experts see no change in poor conditions 14Oct09 October 15, 2009

Ma’an -  14 October 2009


An estimated 90% of water in the Gaza Strip is undrinkable and unfit for human consumption, director general of the coastal water service Munthir Shublaq said on Wednesday.

Shublaq blamed the December and January Israeli military offensive on the Gaza Strip for exacerbating the water problem in the Strip. Part of the Israeli war on Gaza involved bulldozing sewage reservoirs and tearing up water networks, he said, which resulted in sewage leaking into ground water and pouring into streets.

The water director openly admitted that the Strip had water problems before the Israeli war on Gaza, “there was poor sewage, a poor desalinization system, and issues with sewage polluting the sea,” he said, adding that at least 30% of the area had no sewage infrastructure.

There are many improvements that need to be made, Shublaq said, there were improvements that were necessary “before the blockade, before the war,” and now, he continued, “even what we had is failing.”

Before the Israeli siege, he explained, several donor countries were working on projects to revive and rejuvenate the sewage treatment plants, but with the destabilized political situation and now the impossibility of bringing materials into the Strip, he said, almost none of them have continued.

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