New Water Connections in Sabra Make Niveen’s Life Much Healthier
Bolstering Gaza’s water infrastructure
Niveen lives in the Sabra neighborhood in Gaza City. She is the breadwinner for a family of nine. Her family’s water connection was poor and unreliable. Though they had water taps at home, their supply cut off often, especially in the long, hot summers. And, when it was available, the water was yellow and came out in a trickle.
Niveen often resorted to going to local water tanks, where she’d fill up containers and carry them back to her house. “A lot of times I had to spend a good deal of money on water. That was precious money I would have preferred to spend on things for my kids,” Niveen says. To make matters worse, the water she bought was often discolored and contaminated.
“I used to wipe the vegetables off with a dry towel before eating them. And we often didn’t even have enough water for the children to wash their hands. We could barely clean the house.”
“It was a big change in our lives when our water connection was fixed,” Niveen says.
“Now that we can rely on a water supply at home, with good water pressure too, we can keep the children and the house clean. And we can wash our produce.”
One thing Niveen has struggled with is water-borne diseases like diarrhea in her children. Two of her daughters had worms and were in pain.
“My daughters were infected and sick because of polluted water,” she says.
“It was a torture to me to see them suffer and I worried that they were in real danger. I knew so little about parasites and did things wrong. I think I was just misinformed and never had a credible source to rely on. So, I really took to heart the information I learned in Anera’s [hygiene awareness] workshop. I now know many things about deworming and actions I can take to avoid similar dangers in the future.”
With support from Islamic Relief USA, Anera upgraded and repaired the water network in Sabra, replacing decayed, undersized steel pipes with new PVC pipes. Niveen’s family and 471 others in Sabra now have a reliable, strong connection to water supplies. As part of Anera’s water and sanitation work in Gaza, public health educators conduct awareness sessions about water-borne disease and proven good practices for avoiding them.
“The water flow in the house is good now and water made quarantining during COVID much easier. Having water actually gave us a glimpse of hope, despite the anxieties and pressures that the virus has brought.”
Through support from Islamic Relief USA, Anera has connected 472 households to Al Sabra water networks. We laid 1,980 linear meters of water pipes and replaced old and undersized, decaying steel pipelines with new PVC pipes.
The views expressed herein are those of Anera and shall not, in any way whatsoever, be construed to reflect the official opinion of IRUSA, its Islamic Relief affiliates, or its donors.