Refugees in Palestine Still Afflicted with Clean Water Crisis

Let's Save Palestine

ACTNews, GAZA - Mohammad Nimnim (15) placed plastic jugs into a wheelchair, and he pushed it to the mosque to get the jerry cans filled with clean water. For many people in Gaza, they get their water delivered by truck. Desalinated water is pumped into rooftop tanks via hoses. Unfortunately, the water that flows from the tap is too salty to drink because the aquifer can no longer work properly that seawater is flowing in.

Apart from energy crisis, clean water crisis has also affected the people of Gaza. Public Radio International reported that, since 20 years ago, 85 percent of water in Gaza had been contaminated. In 2018, the contamination level rose up to 97 percent. The contaminated water has also caused serious health problems such as diarrhea, renal failure, stunting and brain development impediment that affect children.

To this day, the refugees in Gaza is still in urgent need of clean and drinkable water. At the moment, they rely on desalination plants and water trucks to get their clean water, as well as other sources.

“Water and electricity? Forget about it. There isn’t any,” said Atef Nimnim, another member of the Nimnim family, as reported by Public Radio International in November 2018.

Former Deputy Water Minister Rebhi Al-Sheikh stated that the water is prone to fecal and e.coli contamination because it virtually contains to salt. When it is a stored at the household water tank for many days more than 10 days, Al-Sheikh added, then this level of contamination can reach up to 70 percent.

The water crisis that afflicts the people of Gaza is an effect of the prolonged conflict in Gaza. Since 2015, Aksi Cepat Tanggap (ACT) has acted on behalf of the people of Indonesia to alleviate the crisis by supplying clean water through the Mobile Water Tank program.

Based on the data by Global Humanity Response (GHR) – Aksi Cepat Tanggap (ACT) in 2018, 1,008,800 people have benefitted from the water tank program where clean water was distributed to a number of neighborhoods and public facilities like hospitals and schools. Among the school which the water tank reached was Al-Hood secondary school.

Iman Abu Shalamah, the manager of the school, expressed his gratefulness to the people of Indonesia. “We thank you very much. We thank the Indonesian people, especially ACT as an organization that has provided clean water for our school. Previously, some of our students had been sick from drinking contaminated water,” he said to ACT team in November.

To date, the water tank program for Palestine continues as an effort to ease the suffering of the people of Gaza. []

Picture sources: ACT, Public Radio International