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Source: USAID West Bank & Gaza
26 January 2005

USAID launches construction of water supply system for Hebron area

HEBRON, West Bank –
The American government has begun construction of a $30-million water supply system that will provide fresh clean water to 200,000 Palestinians living in the Hebron area, U.S. officials announced Wednesday.
The water supply system is part of a package of projects funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in support of the Palestinian people.

"Currently, water service to the area is inadequate and the local population suffers from erratic water supply," said USAID Senior Project Manager Bassam Refai. "Our primary goal is to improve water supply in the area."

The new system will be constructed in the Bani Naim area and will directly service Bani Naim, Yatta and the17 villages of West Hebron for a total of 200,000 beneficiaries.

Residents of other areas of Hebron and the cities of Halhoul and Dura will also benefit as they will no longer have to share their already limited water resources.

The project is part of an even larger multi-donor water supply scheme that in the near future will provide water to approximately 500,000 people.

The project involves the construction of two deep water wells and one water reservoir and the installation of two high-pressure pumping stations, 11 kilometers of power lines and 34 kilometers of water pipelines.

Operation of the new well pumping stations will be computerized and the system will function semi-automatically. The new technology will be transferred to the local water utilities.

The construction is expected to be completed by June 2006 when operation of the new system will become the responsibility of the Palestinian Water Authority.

The project is being implemented by American Intercontinental Constructors LLC and the Palestinian construction firm Saqqa and Khoudary Co. Ltd. The construction project is expected to generate 7,200 person days of employment for skilled workers and 15,000 person days of work for unskilled laborers.

USAID is a U.S. government agency that provides economic development and humanitarian assistance overseas. Since 1994, USAID’s West Bank and Gaza Mission has distributed more than $1.5 billion in assistance to Palestinians.

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