Organisationen Emergency Water, Sanitation and Hygiene in the occupied Palestinian territory, EWASH, rapporterer igen om store problemer med vandforsyningen.
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Clean water not flowing easily in Gaza one year since Israel announces “easing” of blockade policy
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 14, 2011
Gaza City – One year since the announced “easing” of the blockade on Gaza, residents still don’t have clean water running from their taps as up to 95 percent of water for domestic supply in the Gaza Strip is still below the minimum World Health Organisation (WHO) standard for drinking water and unfit for consumption, the Emergency Water Sanitation and Hygiene Group (EWASH), a coalition of 30 humanitarian and development agencies working in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, warned today.
In the context of the recent attempt by the flotilla to sail to Gaza, EWASH calls on the international community to own up to their obligations under international law and pressure Israel to immediately lift the blockade on the Gaza Strip and allow for the unrestricted movement of people and goods to and from Gaza.
“Relaxing restrictions on imports to Gaza to allow in a variety of soda and chips does nothing to help families that can’t drink the water running from their taps,” says Subha Ghannam, EWASH coordinator. “Instead of flooding the market with processed food items that most families cannot afford, Israel should be working with humanitarian agencies in Gaza to set priorities for the entry of materials that actually address people’s basic needs and help to improve their lives.”
Despite Israeli promises to start easing the blockade and allow in construction materials for humanitarian and relief projects, Israel continues to impose heavy restrictions on the entry of materials necessary for repair and maintenance of water and sanitation infrastructure. Less than a fifth of needed materials were allowed in since the announced ‘ease’ policy last year. Procedures for the entry of materials needed to bring residents in Gaza the clean water they deserve continue to be cumbersome, bureaucratic and extremely slow, delaying essential interventions, at times for years, and exacerbating the long-standing suffering of Gaza’s Palestinians.The water and sanitation situation in Gaza is already under severe strain as a result of the blockade. The Coastal Aquifer, Gaza’s primary source of water, is in risk of collapse due to over pumping and sewage contamination. About 60-80 million litres of untreated and partially treated wastewater from Gaza are discharged daily into the Mediterranean Sea. This has caused environmental damage and represents a health risk to Gaza’s residents and potentially Israelis.
For Further information, please contact: Ghada Snunu, EWASH Advocacy Task Force Officer (Gaza Strip) Tel: +972 (0) 598910834 / email@example.com
Note to editors:
The Emergency Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Group (EWASH) is a coalition of 30 leading humanitarian organizations. Members include local and international NGOs and UN Agencies. Visit www.ewash.org for more details.