Sewage Hits drinking water in the refugee Camp of Shati


DRAH | Sept 2, 2013

Gaza, ( — The Palestinian refugees have been suffering since 65 years, when the Palestinians were plagued with NAKBA.

Residents of the Shati refugee camp in the west of Gaza, particularly people of the area of “Block 4” complained recently of pollution of drinking water with sewage.

They also suffer from salinity of the water as well as water cutting from time to time along the year. Moreover, suffering aggravated when the sewage smuggled to the drinking water making the situation intolerable for the refugees who live in that area.

“Abu Ahmed said, a 44- year-old refugee living in the camp, said that residents of the camp are so upset and anger for lack of any kind of health control over the camp, noting that leakage of wastewater to the drinking water was discovered by chance not through official bodies, including UNRWA, which oversees the health of the camp, or the Municipality of Gaza, which provides the camp with water.

Calling on officials , decision-makers and institutions concerned with human rights to visit the camp and take close inspection over situation and the coming living disaster that is about to hit the camp , Abu Ahmed appealed the Municipality of Gaza as well as UNRWA to cooperate and exert efforts to serve the refugees in the camp. Mr. Nashaat Abu Omaira, the chairman of popular Committee of the refugees in the camp, said that most of the water arriving Shati refugee camp is salt water in origin, where refugees cannot use it for drinking or cooking. However, the catastrophe that occurred in area of “Block 4” is a serious pollution state that cannot be tolerated.

Abu Omaira called for tightening health watching over sources of water inside the camp, noting that a large part of this task should be handled by UNRWA for it is responsible for providing refugees with service and a decent life in accordance with international resolutions. Abu Omaira added that one of the main reasons for this problem is the lack of terrestrial systems in the camp. In addition, these networks are not subject to any kind of maintenance. Furthermore, these water networks have no health planning or developments.

Commenting on the problem, General Manager of water and sanitation in the Municipality of Gaza. Saad Eddin Alatbash told the Division of refugees’ affairs that the main reason for the leakage of wastewater to drinking water is caused by random use of water by residents, where people build the drinking water networks over networks of the sanitation. This random distribution of water network cased the leak of waste water to drinking water, adding that what happened in area of Bloc 4 is an exceptional case.

He said that the problem of mixing of sewage with drinking water reached only some houses, and did not last more than one day, where municipal specialized crews treated it immediately.

He explained that the camp suffers indiscriminate situation as well as the random behavior of citizens caused the leak among the water networks.

answering a question over the inability to discover the pollution immediately , he said there are problems in some of the camps, where they face difficulties in technical and vocational dealing with the main source of pollution urgently due to lack of equipment the municipality has. However, the municipality is at permanent contact with residents.

Alotbash confirmed that the municipality injects wells of drinking water with thousands of liters of “sterile chlorine”, assuring people in the camp that crews are watching health environment of the water closely and working on samples of water to avoid any future problems.

Furthermore, Alotbash has warned that the Gaza Strip is going to face a water crisis with endless dimensions, particularly in the light of the fact that 80% of water wells in the Gaza Strip are salty. He added that municipality crews have recently drilled new water well in the last of Galaa Street, whose water is sweet, which is all devoted to 70% people of Shati camp.

Alotbash also said that UNRWA has dug two wells for residents of the Shati refugee camp but water of these wells are too salty, adding that UNRWA has not provided any other solutions to improve the delivery of water services to refugees inside the camp.

He called on r UNRWA to improve water of the wells through installing filters inside these wells for water desalination, or establish stations for the desalination of sea water.

DRAH tried to communicate with UNRWA many times for getting more information over this issue; however, UNRWA officials did not cooperate with us.


Palestine | No Water, No Sewerage

“Access to safe water is a fundamental human need & therefore a basic human right.” ~Kofi Annan Information portal about the Human Rights to Water & Sanitation

Gaza | Continuously without water, without sewage, even by force because Israel opens a dam.

Everything is being done, to make life in Gaza impossible. Gaza remains Worlds Largest open Air prison, an israel an an occupier, even neglects rights of the “concentrationcamp”-people they are lawfully to respect, as per International and Humanitairian laws is obligated to even as an occupying force.

As a “Disengaged Occupier” (Report from GISHA), Israel uses deprivation of water as a mean of ethnic cleansing. Access to water, restricting or making the quality causing water borne diseases are to be called deliberate and common policy rather than obeying to at least minimal standards of humanitarian or morals. Even causing deaths, which can be classified as “Avoidable Mortality” also known as “Excess Deaths”: The difference between statisticly proof of normal deathtrates, compared to the reality and difference due to bad ruling or care, even under occupation in which an occupier has also obligations under International Law and is responsible for the continuation of basic needs and supply of such. Reality is, Israel does all not to provide this.

These and many more policies like the calories per head-policy for Gaza, result in a flagrant violation of Human Rights and is a  cause of many illnesses and even deaths which are silenced. Media coverage of Israeli attacks or damage on Gaza and West Bank tend to focus on the immediate damage inflicted. Like a well is destroyed, or polluted. Like a dam which is deliberately flooded. But the excess deaths and diseases due to the policies are silenced by all means.

From the news: Occupation opens dams flooding Palestinian homes in Abasan (nov 4, 2011)


January 19, 2010 at 13:20 (Gaza, Health Crisis, Israel, Palestine, Photography, zionist harassment)
Gaza flooded after Israel opens dam gates Israel has opened the floodgates of one of its dams in the eastern part of the Gaza Strip, flooding Palestinian houses and causing severe damage.

The Israeli authorities opened the dam’s floodgates without any prior warning or coordination with local authorities in Gaza, stunning the residents of the area, the Press TV correspondent in Gaza reported late on Monday.

There has been heavy rain in the region over the past 24 hours. It seems the Israeli authorities could not handle the huge amount of rainwater and decided to open the floodgates without prior warning.

Because Gaza is located in a low-lying area and the elevation decreases on the way to the Mediterranean Sea, water gushed into the area, flooding two Palestinian villages and displacing a hundred Gazan families. The locals say Israel intentionally caused the floods, the Press TV correspondent said.

The waters from the dam, called the Valley of Gaza, flooded houses in Johr al-Deek village, which is southeast of Gaza City, and Nusirat in the eastern part of the territory, where the Al-Nusirat refugee camp is also located. The Valley of Gaza is about 8 kilometers long. It starts on the eastern Gaza border with Israel and ends in the Mediterranean.

The houses of many Palestinians have been flooded and a number of people are trapped inside or on their roofs, while many have also gone missing, the Press TV correspondent said. Rescue teams are using small boats to evacuate the trapped people.

Hamas has condemned the act as a war crime and has called on all concerned parties to intervene and offer assistance to the locals.The flooding has made life more difficult for the Gazans, especially for those still living in tents because their homes were destroyed in the December 2008-January 2009 Israeli war on the Gaza Strip.

In the war, more than 1,400 people were killed, mostly women and children, and over 10,000 houses were destroyed or damaged, forcing at least 500 families to live in tents.

Very little progress is seen in reconstruction of the devastated areas in the Gaza Strip, mostly due to the Israeli blockade, which has prevented the delivery of building materials to the coastal enclave.

From the Palestine Telegraph
Israel opens Dam so Gaza submerges

Gaza – Many Palestinian houses were under water in Central Gaza after Israel opened a closed dam on Tuesday. Israeli authorities opened the “Al-Wadi” dam without prior notice after heavy rainfall on the area.

Seventy citizens were rescued by Civil defense staffs. Medical sources said that 9 citizens were injured and transferred to Gaza hospitals. They said that rescue teams rushed to the area and evacuated all the residents who live in distance of 500-600m in Al-Moghraqa, central Gaza Strip. The minister of Social Affairs Ministry in Gaza, Ahmed Al-Kord, said that they opened Kafer Yasef School for 100 evacuated families. He added that the ministry provided them with the need supplies of food and sheets.

In the West Bank demolitions of wells, springs & water structures

List of water structures in the West Bank demolished by Israel from 2009 to 2011 (source: UN OCHA)
Demolition date Community Governorate Type Number Est. people affected
08-06-09 Al-Baqa / al-Bweira Hebron well 7 80
03-09-09 Al-Baqa Hebron cistern 3 101
11-02-10 Al-Bassa Hebron spring 5 100
24-02-10 Kafr Dan Jenin well 5 166
14-07-10 Al-Baqa Hebron cistern 1 17
15-07-10 Abu al-Urgan Hebron cistern 1 20
19-07-10 Al-Baqa Hebron cistern 1 17
02-08-10 Wadi al-Ghrous Hebron well 1 50
04-08-10 Jabal Joher Hebron well 1 90
04-08-10 Wadi al-Joz Hebron well 1 9
11-10-10 Khallet al-Warda Hebron cistern 1 23
27-10-10 Deir Abu Dief Jenin well 4 11,583
30-11-10 Ar-Rashayida Bethlehem cistern 1 50
14-12-10 Kassem ad-Daraj/Um ad-Daraj Hebron cistern 14 950
29-12-10 At-Tur Jerusalem cistern 2 26
19-01-11 Al-Issawiya Jerusalem well 1 4
17-02-11 Khallet al-Furn Hebron cistern 4 29
22-02-11 Susiya Hebron cistern 2 41
02-03-11 al-Ghrous, Baqa Hebron cistern 2 7
23-03-11 Ar-Rashayida Bethlehem cistern 2 111
07-04-11 al-Aqaba Tubas water stream 1
07-04-11 Khallet al-Fahma Bethlehem cistern 2 37
05-05-11 Susiya Hebron cistern 2 94
26-05-11 Idhna Hebron cistern 2 47
29-05-11 Kafr Dan Jenin well 8 40
14-06-11 al-Harayeq Hebron cistern 2 40
23-06-11 Arab ar-Rashayida Bethlehem cistern 1 41
05-07-11 al-Khader Bethlehem cistern 1 30
12-07-11 an-Nassariya Nablus well 3 37
08-09-11 an-Nassariya Nablus well 3 37
13-09-11 an-Nassariya Nablus well 1 10
13-09-11 Bait Hasan Nablus well 1 285
13-09-11 Tammun Tubas well 1 92
04-10-11 Kufr ad-dik Salfit well 1 12
04-10-11 Beit Ula Hebron cistern 4 80
17-11-11 Udeissa Hebron cistern 1 11
17-11-11 al-Baqa’a Hebron water pool 1 18
24-11-11 Idhna Hebron well 2 34
08-12-11 Beit Ula Hebron cistern 1 8
21-12-11 Kufr ad-dik Salfit well 3 75
22-12-11 Idhna Hebron well 4 116
22-12-11 Idhna Hebron cistern 3 0
22-12-11 Idhna Hebron tank 2 0
22-12-11 al-Majnuna Hebron water pool 10 500

Updates 2012

  • France accuses Israel of water ‘apartheid’ in West Bank | Haaretz | Jan 16, 2012
  • List of water structures demolished by Israel in the West Bank from 2009 to 2011List
  • For more info read “The Right to Water – A Policy of Denial and Forced Displacement in the OPT”  – Report Al-Haq
  • May 23, 2012 | Water apartheid leaves Palestinian children ill | Electronic Intifada
  • June 5, 2012 | In a recent report , Al Mezan center for Human Rights facts are related that  Israel’s blockade damaged the environment in Gaza | Report
  • June 8, 2012 | Water desalination projects to solve Gaza’s problems: a wolf in sheep’s clothing? | Electronic Intifada
  • June 14, 2012 | Gaza water too contaminated to drink, say charities | BBC


Action Alert

Links & Resources

Humanitarian Crisis in the Gaza StripFacts & Statistics | Report

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