Update on Anera Projects in Gaza
Anera is actively carrying out many important relief and development projects in Gaza. Below are just a few recent accomplishments.
Road Rehabilitation in Beit Lahia
Lack of proper infrastructure and sudden damage to irrigation pipes or water wells are just some of the daily challenges for farmers in Beit Lahia, Gaza. “During winter, this road used to be muddy. Holes would collect rain water and prevent trucks from coming in and out, causing us lot of delays and damage to crops,” he says. In past years, farmers were unable to access their produce or export it to other areas. “We used to pay 1000 NIS (~$300) to empty the potholes of water and to dry the road after storms, so we could get back to our work the next day,” he added.
Anera engineers recently rehabilitated the road by adding thicker layers of soil and mixing crushed stones with base aggregates. Because of the new road, farmers are now able to access their produce as well as export it to other areas in or outside Gaza.
This road project in Deir El Balah and Beit Lahia is funded by Islamic Relief USA.
Water Reservoir in Al Shoka
A large water reservoir in the Al Shoka neighborhood of Rafah is almost halfway done! Together with a booster station and 3 kilometers of pipes, it will distribute a steady supply of domestic water to 15,000 Gazans. Anera’s PCID Program, funded by USAID, builds and improves basic infrastructure in the West Bank and Gaza, including water and sewage networks, schools and clinics.
In-Kind Medical Aid for Wadi Salqa
Dr. Manal Abu Jiban is a Palestinian doctor whose family left Gaza when she was just a child. Now at 30, she has returned to her home village of Wadi Salqa as a physician to help serve her community. Wadi Salqa has a clinic that treats patients 24 hours a day. To Dr. Jiban’s dismay, the health challenges in the village are enormous.
“The health situation in Gaza is deteriorating. It has been exacerbated by years of an unbroken siege and a tough economy. All of this has made it nearly impossible for people to get the treatment they need and deserve.”
Recently, Dr. Jiban treated Kinan, a five-month-old brought in by his mother Israa. Kinan had a sleepless night and was constantly crying with a high temperature. On top of these symptoms, he wasn’t eating and was clearly in pain. After a medical examination, the doctor found that Kinan was coming down with an upper tract respiratory infection caused by bacteria and she prescribed an antibiotic for the baby.
The medicine that Dr. Jiban prescribed were part of Direct Relief shipment delivered by Anera as part of the in-kind medical relief program. The shipment contained vital antibiotics for adults and children. Anera delivered the medicine to 11 clinics and hospitals in Gaza.
New Sanitation System for School in Khan Younis
Southern Gaza suffers the most from lack of proper sewage systems. The Rosary School was no exception. One of its buildings wasn’t connected to a sewage facility, which meant that preschoolers in its first-floor classrooms had difficulty reaching bathrooms, especially during winters.
The school hosts 980 students, 80 teachers and 11 workers, according to the principal, Sister Nabila. “When the we first opened in the early 1990s, we had only 20 students,” she explains. “But over the years the school has grown in its capacity.” As the school expanded by adding buildings, the need for additional sewage facilities increased. To respond to this problem, they installed a septic tank which they emptied twice per year. “It was terrible when the tank overflowed and we needed to call the manufacturer to come and fix it.”
With funding from IRUSA, the Rosary School now has a new sanitation system connected directly to the building. Through this program, Anera has directly reached 45,000 Palestinians in Gaza with sanitation facilities. The project includes 150 health awareness sessions and the distribution of 5,000 hygiene kits and educational brochures.
Early Childhood Development & Community
Building Community & Early Childhood Development in Gaza
Nutrition is a concept that has united a group of determined women in Gaza. They formed the Food Bank Center, a women’s co-op that provides 1,500 children with free breakfasts twice per week.
Through this initiative, women chefs earn money to support their families, provide free nutritious meals to preschool children, and utilize their cooking skills in kitchens fully equipped by Anera.
“How your child eats today will affect his or her health throughout adulthood,” says Maysoun, a teacher and participant. She introduced the nutrition initiative to her preschool, which is located near the co-op kitchen in Gaza. She says that the project builds upon values she learned when she took part in Anera’s early childhood development teacher training program.
In training, Maysoun learned how breakfast gives children the energy to stay active, strong, and able to participate in class. Food helps children concentrate during school, providing energy for thinking and physical activities.
In Gaza, Anera supports eight women’s co-ops aimed at boosting women’s economic output and financial independence. Anera’s comprehensive ECD program involves training teachers, building and renovating schools, and providing children with necessary classroom tools.