Gaza Water Scarcity Crisis Reaches New Heights

Posted in: Global Water News
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Article courtesy of Isra Saleh el-Namey | May 10th, 2016 | The Electronic Intifada | Shared as educational material.

Photo Credit: The Electronic Intifada

Gaza has been experiencing rather serious water crises as of late, mainly due to numerous power cuts. And as summer is approaching, the Gaza water scarcity crisis threatens to get worse due to successive Isreali military assaults–part of a long-lasting clash. Experts describe the situation in Gaza as catastrophic since water resources in the region have arrived at alarming levels of pollution. In addition, the underground aquifers of Gaza continue to increase in salinity.

A report bu the U.N. stated that Palestinians in Gaza have access to less than half of the necessary water required for a person to live a normal life. Mounting concerns include the lack of functioning water infrastructure along with the lack of taking the initiative to repair this broken-down infrastructure. The materials and resources needed for building are becoming more and more inaccessible as Isreal continues to block imports into the region.

Many citizens have begun to suffer from water-caused diseases, some of them being fatal. Symptoms of these diseases include skin irritations, brown blotches, and fever. The water is so saline that it cannot be used for washing or bathing. The Gaza water scarcity crisis has been doubled in its deadliness due to Israel’s constant bombings. Because of the attack, water contains a high concentration of chloride and nitrate which officials say is unsafe for drinking.

A poor sewage system has compounded into the crisis as well; Gaza’s sewage flows into the sea or into cesspits, eventually seeping into Gaza’s only underwater aquifer. Again, the maintenance and building of a new sewage system are unlikely because of Israeli intervention. Another water infrastructure that Israel has been claimed to be targeting are the desalination plants. As logic may suggest, the destruction and bombing of these sites make it more and more difficult for water sources to be desalinated. Read more about the issue here.

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