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2 March 2009

Gaza Emergency WASH Cluster weekly situation report
Number 6
                                            2nd March

Summary overview
No changes in number of persons receiving water – 150,00 people are still without access to water through the main water network
• ACF have conducted water sampling of domestic water and a number of fecal coliforms have been detected
• Graham Henderson, the WASH Cluster focal point for Gaza has arrived in Gaza City and is currently meeting with WASH partners.

General situation
There is no change in the number of people not receiving water from the general network, i.e. 50,000 persons are completely without access to water and an additional 100,000 are virtually without water, receiving water only every 5 or 6 days. Areas without water include Beit Hanoun, Beit Lahiya, Az Zaitoun, Jabalia and eastern Khan Younis. This number is not expected to decrease significantly in the near future due to repair material not being able to enter Gaza.

ACF has conducted water samples for domestic water with totally 68 random samples from water sources, water trucks and roof top tanks, tested in Beirzeit University Water Lab. No coliform traces have been detected in the samples from the sources, however, of the 37 water truck samples, 10 had coliform traces and of the 5 roof top tank samples, 1 had traces of coliform. Concerned water tankers are stopped while making sure that the contractors disinfect the tanks and coliforms detected at household level (i.e. roof tanks), generates household focused advice. ACF is planning to start an in depth hygiene campaign programme accordingly.

WASH cluster humanitarian response

Drinking and domestic water

GVC is now able to continue with a delayed project (started in July 2008) for the provision of a brackish water desalination plant to Al Bureij. The desalination plant entered into Gaza on February 26th. Permission to enter Gaza was achieved thanks to strong lobbying from EU, PWA and also the Israeli supplier. CMWU has expressed their strong appreciation to GVC for the effort in making this happen. The desalination plant will provide 50 m3 of potable water/hour and will supply potable water to 22,000 refugees of Al Bureij Refugee Camp. The project is implemented in cooperation with Terres des Hommes - Italy, and in partnership with PHG. The plant is expected to be operational by the end of March 2009.

PHG, Oxfam and ACF continue with water distribution. Oxfam has distributed 3,431 m3 of drinking water during between February 20th and 28th, distributing approximately 6 litres/person/day to around 60,000 beneficiaries. ACF have distributed 1,925 m3 of domestic water between February 19th and 25th, with a total number of 16,289 of beneficiaries receiving approximately 24 litres/person/day. CARE has during last week distributed 84 m3 of potable water to 3,340 beneficiaries with approximately 5 litres/person/day during 5 days. They have also distributed 200 m3 of domestic water to 1,269 beneficiaries with approximately 52 litres/person/day during 5 days.

Save the Children is continuing installation of plastic water tanks in Shokat as Sufi and Beit Lahyia. They also continue with installations of 120 household water pumps in Beit Lahyia, which will benefit 840 persons, as well as rehabilitating water house connections in Beit Hanoun for 100 houses, or 700 beneficiaries. In Beit Hanoun they are rehabilitating water lines for 4,000 beneficiaries.

Unicef has made an agreement to fund CMWU in carrying out emergency repairs and rehabilitation of water networks in Nusairat, Beit Lahia, Beit Hanoun, Jabalia, Rafah and Moghraga, benefiting in total 50,000 persons.

ACF completed their work of supporting CMWU in cleaning the sewage spills and water damages in Gaza and Gaza City.

Two new ACF teams have started to work in northern of Gaza on 21st February to clean the Beit Lahia Wastewater Treatment Plant and removing sewage spillage from the streets. Another team is working in cleaning and repairing Abu Rashed storm water pond and Abu Rashed sewage and storm water pumping stations.

Solid waste
COOPI continue with solid waste management in Gaza City. The solid waste collection is done by the local population using Cash-for-Work, which benefits 150 people. Between February 22nd and 28th 1,275 tons were collected and the estimated number of beneficiaries is 513,000. ACF has finished cleaning up debris on the streets in Gaza City, but the work is ongoing in Beit Lahiya. Oxfam is planning to do two clean-up campaigns (via cash for work) in Gaza city starting in mid-March.

Hygiene and NFIs
Unicef has provided 260 basic family water kits to PCRC and distribution has started in Jabalia and Beit Lahiya. Unicef has also finalised funding for Oxfam to distribute 2,000 family hygiene kits. Save the Children continue with health awareness campaigns in Beit Hanoun, Shokat as Sufi and Beit Lahyia with approximately 4,000 beneficiaries.

WASH cluster activities
The Gaza WASH Cluster focal point, Graham Henderson, will be leaving for Gaza on Tuesday. The Gaza information manager will start next Monday.

The first meeting of the WASH advocacy group is planned for Wednesday and expected output is an action plan.

A training on a new input tool for the agency activities, supplied by OCHA, was held in Ramallah last Thursday. The tool is now up and running and all cluster members are encouraged to update their activities once a week, on Mondays.

The main constraint continues to be access of the necessary materials into Gaza, no further major repairs can take place and many projects remain on-hold. The most urgent priorities currently are pipes, cement and fittings. CMWU and key WASH partners have recently updated the priority WASH materials list for Gaza, and these lists are being discussed with the Logistics Cluster. Further lists have been received from WASH partners. OCHA and other key partners to advocate to the Israeli Authorities for these materials to be allowed in, and from their side, CMWU and PWA are currently discussing the access issue with the Israeli authorities.

Highlights for next week
• Gaza information manager to start next week
• An advocacy meeting will be held in Ramallah to discuss a strategy for Gaza
• Finalising a ToR to set up a monthly monitoring activity at a household level in Gaza in partnership with PHG

For more information, please do not hesitate to contact:
Name - e-mail - Phone number

Tim Forster
WASH Cluster Coordinator 054 7787682

Subha Ghannam
e-WASH Coordinator 059 9644868

Graham Henderson
Gaza WASH Cluster focal point
054 5865985

Nina Odling
WASH Information Manager 054 7787683

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