The PWA calls for the providing of electricity, fuel and spare parts for generators to the Gaza strip
The PWA issued a preliminary report on the catastrophic water situation in the Gaza Strip. The PWA and the Gaza Coastal Municipal Water Utility (GCMWU) has declared the Gaza Strip a disaster area in terms of water and environment. The PWA welcomes the declared ceasefire which will enable the evaluation of the damages and the provision of the emergency aid. The PWA has stated that according to initial field reports, the displacement of more than 600 thousand citizens and power outages in nearly the entire Gaza strip have led to a sharp reduction in water production to nearly one third of the original quantity. Damaged sanitation networks have caused leakages of raw wastewater into the streets and into the sea. The so-called ‘security zone’, a 3 kilometer wide area on the north and eastern border of the Gaza Strip designated by the Israelis, represents almost 36% of the total area of the Gaza Strip and contains almost half of the total number of water wells serving Gaza’s residents. Lack of access by authorized staff poses a threat to the operation of these wells. This further exacerbates the miserable situation in the Gaza Strip, which is one of the most densely populated areas in the world. To date and after 30 days of ongoing war, it has not been possible to perform any detailed evaluation of the damages especially in the areas that were highly targeted by the Israeli military operations and which suffered severe damages. Initial assessments note damages which include power line damages, power station destruction and the destruction of water and wastewater facilities, which threaten the livelihood and existence of the 1.8 million inhabitants of Gaza. The PWA warns of the spread of epidemics and diseases as a result of lack of fresh water and pollution from raw sewage. If the current situation continues, the danger of the spread of diseases and epidemic will be eminent. The PWA appeals to all parties to help in enabling the provision of medicines and medical supplies into health centers, hospitals and shelters. Seven employees of the technical teams of the GCMWU have fallen victims to the Israeli strikes while on duty. The PWA appeals to the International Community to intervene to enable the PWA to continue its efforts in providing water to the residents of Gaza. Water resources are in need of chlorination, especially in areas where the treatment plants are not in operation. Effort is needed in providing fuel into the Gaza Strip under the current situation of power outages. The quantity of fuel that is currently available is insufficient. There is an immediate need for 250,000 liters of fuel per month to power the water facilities in light of the power outages prevailing. From the start of the aggression, some of the damages which have been assessed preliminarily include the total destruction of the desalination plant in Deir El-Balah, the destruction of the transmission line that supplies the main seawater desalination plant in Deir El-Balah, the total destruction of 4 water wells and 5 main water cisterns in Al- Muntar and Beit Lahia, Beit Hanoun, Jabalia and Khuza’a, the destruction of generators of 5 wells, the destruction of water transmission lines of 10 wells , the destruction of main transmission lines with diameters of 12”,10”,6”,and 4 inches in Al-Nusairat, Bani-Suhaila, Al-Shati’i Refugee camp, Beit Hanoun Jabalia, Deir El-Balah,Rafah,Khan Younis ,Gaza city and other areas. All transmission lines and local water networks in Al-Shaja’iyya and Beit Hanoun neighborhoods have been completely destroyed, as well as most of the local water networks and house connections all over the Gaza Strip. The Sheikh Ijleen Wastewater Treatment Plant has also been completely destroyed, including 5 wastewater pumping stations, a 42 inch transmission line out of the wastewater treatment plant into the sea and 12 inch and 14 inch transmission lines which carry wastewater from pumping stations to treatment plants. Almost all local wastewater networks all over the Gaza strip have been destroyed, resulting in the leakage of raw wastewater into streets and homes and discharge of over 100,000 cubic meters of untreated wastewater into the sea every day. The PWA appeals to the international community to apply pressure on the Israelis to allow humanitarian aid into Gaza, including much-needed water containers, to allow water tankers to move freely, and to allow the entrance of generators, spare parts, water desalination supplies, and wastewater pumps into the Gaza Strip. Tremendous support is needed for the technical teams in the municipalities and the Gaza Coastal Municipal Water Utility in the difficult rebuilding period ahead.