Earth Day | April 22, 2019
With climate change and population growth, the resources of this precious planet we share grow scarcer and the health of the environment becomes more precarious.
In the dry climate of Palestine, water is a scarce resource, a problem that is exasperated by occupation. The health of both humans and the environment suffer from water shortages, climate change and pollution. Farm fields lay fallow. And families have to save up the little water they can access to survive.
Urban areas, like those in Gaza and Lebanon’s refugee camps, grow more polluted as their populations increase. Trash is a big problem in Lebanon, especially in the restricted spaces of refugee camps. Cramped conditions and a dearth of services push residents to dispose of their garbage in burn pits and on streets and beaches, putting people and the environment at risk.
In Gaza, fuel is perpetually in short supply, due to the blockade, which translates into electricity outages. Palestinians in Gaza often lack the power to purify water and power hospitals, clinics, schools and farming equipment.
On this Earth Day, we are reflecting on how Anera honors our planet by incorporating green practices into projects, from managing garbage and recyclables to reusing wastewater to installing solar panels and green spaces.
The ongoing Lebanon trash crisis has instigated a youth-led response in several communities where Anera works, from the Palestinian refugee camp of Nahr El Bared in the north to the Bekaa Valley in the southeast, where Syrian refugees live in tents. Anera volunteers are promoting a culture of recycling and proper waste collection through environmental awareness sessions, distributing waste and recycling bins, planting trees and cleaning up littered beaches and roadways. Anera’s sorting and composting facilities prepare the waste for recycling.
In resource-strapped Gaza and the West Bank, sunlight is one thing in ample supply. Anera is harnessing the sun’s rays to power buildings across Palestine. We have installed solar panels on dozens of schools and community centers. In Gaza, the availability of electricity is hard to predict. This can have life or death implications in hospitals and health clinics, which is why Anera is prioritizing solar panel installations at these locations.
Water is precious and scarce in the arid West Bank, but Palestinian municipalities discard wastewater every day, often paying a fee to Israel to do so. Anera has found a way to save and reuse wastewater. In Jenin, Anera helped farmers and the environment by building a wastewater irrigation system that nourishes fodder crops and fruit trees with treated wastewater. We are currently building a wastewater reuse system for the city of Ramallah for use in fire-fighting and irrigating city parks.
By The Numbers
With your support
Spring has sprung!
Poppies appear everywhere across the West Bank in April. These are in Jenin.