With a rich agricultural history, the Salfit Governorate is one of Palestine’s largest olive oil producers.
Salfit Governorate | محافظة سلفيت
Salfit Governorate is located in Palestine’s northwestern West Bank and is bordered by the Ramallah Governorate to the south, Nablus to the east and Qalqilya to the northeast. Except for the city of Salfit and its 17 surrounding Palestinian villages, the majority of the governorate lies within Area C, making it largely unavailable for Palestinian development.
With a rich agricultural history, the Salfit Governorate is one of Palestine’s largest olive oil producers. The city of Salfit is the governorate’s economic and cultural hub with a large marble and stone works industry. According to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics the governorate had a population of 75,444 people in 2017 with over 7 percent being refugees.
Anera’s history in Salfit goes as far back as 1978, when it started working with local agricultural cooperatives and municipalities to improve farming and electrical infrastructure. Since then, thanks to supporters like you, Anera has been able to expand its programs and increase development projects.
Working With Agricultural Cooperatives in Salfit Governorate
Anera has worked with local farmers for decades to improve farming practices and infrastructure in Salfit. In the villages of Deir Istiya and Yasuf, Anera worked with local agricultural cooperatives to develop mechanized farming – providing combines, tractors and training to help increase production.
With USAID funding starting in the 1990s, Anera increased its development capacity and began its long relationship with the city of Salfit’s agricultural cooperative. We were able to provide Salfit and the Yasuf and Deir Istiya cooperatives with more tractors, olive presses and sorting equipment to scale up production. To increase sales of produce, Anera helped establish the Salfit Agricultural Marketing Cooperative which provides small business loans, marketing and advertising tools along with training to farmers.
Water and Sanitation Work
Anera’s work in water and sanitation in Salfit Governorate has been prolific. From the early 1980s to the 2000s, Anera installed and replaced vital water infrastructure in many of the area’s villages. In the villages of Deir Ballut, Haris, Rafat and Zawiya, Anera worked with local municipalities to install main and household water lines, delivering water directly to many Palestinian families for the first time. WIth USAID funding, Anera rehabilitated the village of Marda’s reservoir and installed a main water line, rehabilitated the city of Salfit’s sewage system and replaced the village of Yasuf’s water infrastructure.
In the village of Bidya, which lies right next to Israel's separation wall, Anera constructed new cisterns for local Palestinian farmers to improve irrigation. The cisterns supply water to the village's five acres of olive and fig trees. Before the construction of the cisterns, farmers used to buy water from the municipality and carry it on donkey's back to water the trees.
Increasing Access to Education
After the launch of our early childhood development (ECD) program in 2010, Anera renovated and restored the village of Masha’s preschool and added a new playground, furniture, child-appropriate games, toys and books. The restoration of the Masha school has a special significance as it is one of the first preschool classrooms in a government school, established through Anera’s ECD program. The program in Salfit also provided teachers with educational sessions on early childhood development and core curriculum topics.
Anera has continued its education work in the area over the last decade. In both of the villages of Rafat and Sarta, Anera renovated and added two floors to the existing secondary schools.
Improving Health Care
Anera’s Breast Cancer Awareness program in 2010-2011, helped 3,638 Palestinian women in the West Bank governorates of Salfit and Jerusalem to protect themselves against breast cancer through outreach programs coordinated in their communities, local organizations, women centers and clinics. In the Salfit villages of Yasuf, Farkha, and Marda, Anera has trained primary healthcare providers, community health educators and volunteers who are the key to the campaign, by organizing group sessions, home visits and individual counseling.
Some of Anera’s earliest work in Salfit Governorate involved building up electrical infrastructure for public use. In the village of Bruqin, Anera worked with the Bruqin Electrification Cooperative to electrify the village as well as surrounding villages. With USAID funding, Anera was able to construct a multi-purpose community center in the village of Deir Ballut which includes rooms for learning, a public gathering space, a sports field and other resources for the community.