The Reality – WATER
Results from a 2011 survey by the Palestinian Water Authority (PWA) show that around 10% of households in Palestine are still not connected to a water network. Many existing networks are well over 20 years old and often deteriorated, resulting in water leakages (up to 40% in some areas) and pollution of water.
Households that are not connected to a water network rely primarily on two sources: water cisterns and the purchase of water tanks. These alternative water sources are expensive, and the water quality is dubious at best. The PWA reports that a water tank costs 24.4 NIS per cubic meter in some West Bank governorates. This is more than five times the price of one cubic meter from a network. In the Gaza Strip, the average price of a water tank is 27 times higher than water delivered by a water network. According the World Health Organization, 95% of the ground water in Gaza is undrinkable. The water has unusually high levels of salinity and nitrates, which are believed to be carcinogenic. Nearly 26% of diseases in Gaza are water-related.
The Reality – WASTEWATER
Almost a third of Gaza’s households have no connection to a sewage network. Up to 90,000 cubic meters of sewage, untreated or partially treated, is released daily into the Mediterranean Sea from Gaza due to reduced capacity of the existing wastewater treatment plants to cope with demand. Fuel shortages, electricity deficit and lack of construction materials, including spare parts, have all contributed to the ongoing sanitation crisis.
In the West Bank, about two-thirds of Palestinian homes depend on unsanitary cesspits or septic tanks to dispose of sewage. More than 90% of wastewater flows untreated from Palestinian towns and villages into the surrounding environment.
The PCID Team constructs, expands and rehabilitates new and existing water and wastewater networks, building water reservoirs and cisterns, and installing and renovating house connections. In communities vulnerable to flooding during rainy seasons, the Team installs proper rainwater drainage systems to discharge water safely into nearby valleys.
The Goal by 2018:
- Enable approximately 60 Palestinian communities to have increased access to new and/or improved potable water supplies.
- Enable more than 20 Palestinian communities to have access to improved sanitation systems.