EU, Germany provide EUR 40m for Nablus treatment plant 20Sep13 September 20, 2013

Palestine News Network     -      19 September 2013

eu_germany__340_220The Palestinian Authority, the European Union (EU) and the German Government marked an award of more than € 40 million to construct a wastewater treatment plant in East Nablus, EU said in a press release.

The large-scale project is funded through a € 20 million contribution by the EU, a € 21,8 million contribution by the German government as well as a € 3,4 million contribution by Municipality of Nablus and will be implemented via the German KfW Development Bank.

The project includes the cooperation of a number of Palestinian stakeholders.

The signing ceremony took place at the Prime Minister Office in Ramallah in the presence of the Dr. Rami Hamdallah, Palestinian Prime Minister, John Gatt-Rutter, EU Representative, Ms. Barbara Wolf, Head of the Representative Office of the Federal Republic of Germany Ramallah, Mohammad Abu Ramadan, State Minister for Planning Affairs, Dr. Shaddad Attili, Head of the Palestinian Water Authority, Mr. Wolfgang Reuss, KfW Director of North Africa and Middle East, and Representatives of the Mayor of Nablus Ghassan Shaka´a.

It’s worth noting that currently, wastewater from East of Nablus flows untreated into the environment reaching agricultural areas and surrounding villages, therefore this project will significantly reduce health risks for the population of Nablus and contamination of the environment. It will also allow the re-use of treated wastewater in agriculture hence conserving limited groundwater resources in Palestine.

The project includes the construction of a central wastewater treatment plant to serve the eastern part of Nablus city and six surrounding villages of Azmut, Salem, Deir Al-Hatab, Kafer Qalil, Rujeeb and Beit Furik. It also includes new collection systems and extension of existing collection systems. Further, initial two years operational assistance to Nablus Municipality in operating the new plant, wastewater pre-treatment facilitates for selected industries and a pilot reuse scheme of treated wastewater in agriculture are financed within the project.

“Severe water shortages and acute water quality problems continue to negatively affect the lives and livelihoods of many Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza, said the EU Representative, John Gatt-Rutter

“In an effort to improve the situation, the EU has since 2011 included water and sanitation as priority sectors within its overall financial assistance to the Palestinian people. Today’s ceremony marks the beginning of an ambitious project which can make a real difference to the quality of life of Palestinians in Nablus and the surrounding villages. It is also a clear example of how the EU works together with its member states to bring tangible results for the benefit of the Palestinian people”, added the EU Representative.

Barbara Wolf, Head of the Representative Office of the Federal Republic of Germany Ramallah, said “Treatment facilities like the one in Nablus East improve the health and environmental situation of Palestinians. The improvement of the water and wastewater services is one of the core areas of support of the German Government in the Palestinian Territories.

“We are proud to have cooperated with the Palestinian side on the recently inaugurated Nablus West Wastewater Treatment Plant and look forward to continuing this partnership also at the eastern side of Nablus,” she also said.

“This project will benefit up to 150,000 people in the region and, through an effective collection and treatment of wastewater will protect water resources and reduce health risks,” said Wolfgang Reuss, KfW Director of North Africa and Middle East.

The EU is a major actor in health and environmental protection in Palestine. Since 2008 it has invested nearly €90 million in the water and sanitation and solid waste management sectors.

In the West Bank, apart from Nablus, the EU is supporting the development of wastewater treatment plants also in other areas where water supply is scarce, such as Tubas. In Gaza, the EU is investing both in large-scale solid waste management programmes and also in medium-scale projects with high impact, such as the construction of a desalination facility that will provide safe water to thousands of Gazans.

The German Government currently implements projects worth more than € 240 million for supporting the water and wastewater sector. Major projects include the Al-Bireh, Nablus West and Gaza City wastewater treatment plants as well as technical assistance and capacity building to service providers and the Palestinian Water Authority (PWA).

It’s worth mentioning that KfW Development Bank is Germany’s leading development bank and an integral part of KfW. It implements Germany´s Financial Cooperation (FC) with developing countries on behalf of the Federal German Government. Its goal is to combat poverty, secure peace, protect the environment and the climate and make globalisation fair. KfW is a competent and strategic advisor on current development issues and has a local Office in Al-Bireh/Ramallah.

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