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Source: Emergency Water Sanitation and Hygiene in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (EWASH)
18 November 2009

WASH Cluster oPt Monthly Situation Report
Number 17 - November 18th , 2009


    WASH materials continue, largely, to be denied entry into Gaza. However last month 11 trucks were allowed into Gaza for water utility provider.
    Despite the heavy rainfall beginning of November, the communities in water scarce regions in the West Bank continue to rely on water tankering.
    The Advocacy Taskforce is working on 3 factsheets and is preparing a right to water campaign for the week around December 10th.

Overall Situation

Humanitarian aid transfer volumes allowed into Gaza continue a lower pace than previous months since the Israeli Cast Lead military operation. The situation for the WASH sector has is changed slightly over the last month: while in the 3-month period of July to September 2009, only one truck of materials for CMWU was allowed into Gaza, 11 trucks were allowed in for water utility provider since mid-October.

Amongst others, UNICEF got materials into Gaza for the construction of 2 emergency desalination units. While GVC, ICRC and PWA got some materials in as well, agencies report that these 11 truckloads are just a small percentage of the urgently needed materials for the rehabilitation of the decrepit water and sanitations network in Gaza. The Cluster continues to work together with OCHA and the HCT advocate to get the necessary materials into Gaza for the urgent humanitarian water and sanitation projects.

West Bank
The first week of November the arid regions in the oPt enjoyed some welcoming showers. The rainfall was extreme in the North of the West Bank, making up for one third of the annual rainfall, while in the South the rainfall counted for only 10 percent of the annual rainfall. Nevertheless water shortages remain in places like the Jordan Valley and South and East of Hebron. Amongst those struck are especially the 150,000 people living in the 122 non served communities in the West Bank.

WASH Cluster humanitarian response: Gaza

Many humanitarian projects are undertaken with the cooperation of CMWU, although they are not mentioned specifically with respect to individual projects in this sitrep.

Drinking water and domestic water tankering and quality

GVC (in cooperation with PHG) is implementing a water network rehabilitation and distribution of 400 water tanks in Rafah & Khan Younis.

Domestic water network

EMCC (in cooperation with TRC) is now implementing water networks and remote control system for the wells in Gaza El-Zatoon area and El-Maslak area. The project is still under tendering process.

UNICEF is working with CMWU on water networks rehabilitation and extension in Anan area of Jabalia in Gaza North. This project will benefit 30,000 people. This project is almost finished and the network is expected to function in two weeks time.

PU (in cooperation with CMWU) implemented a water pond for Khan Younis city in Al Majadla collecting rainwater of the area to avoid floods. The project will benefit 8700 people.

Water Sources, Quality and Desalination

UNICEF is building 6 small desalination plants with a capacity of 50m3/day each. These plants are to be installed in 6 wells around Gaza strip. The project will reach 50,000 beneficiaries.

UNICEF is working with CMWU to construct 2 big desalination units each 50 m3/hr at 2 wells: one in Rafah and the other in Bani Suhaila in Khan Younis. The desalinated water will be mixed with municipal water to improve the quality of the drinking water for 60,000 residents in Rafah and 20,000 in Bani Suhaila. Completion of 2 plants is expected by December 2009.

EMCC (in cooperation with CMWU, PWA & QRC) is implementing a water and sanitation project in Khan-Younis in the west camp area. The project started end of September and should finish by the end of November 2009; however the project is still lacking a power control board, 20 tons of cement, pumps and cables. When completed the project will reach 80,000 beneficiaries.

IR (in cooperation with CMWU) is constructing a new water well in Quizan Al-najjar for Khan Younis to guarantee continuous water supply. The well will service 15,000 beneficiaries.

IR is rehabilitating 12 agricultural wells spread all over the Gaza Strip, in cooperation with PHG. The project is still in assessment phase and should be finished by by April 2010.

Muslim Hands’ next project –which is under tendering phase- will foresee a new water well in El-Awdah hospital in North Gaza in cooperation with CMWU and Union of Health Work Comities (UHWC). The necessary materials are available at the local market.

EMCC (in cooperation with CMWU & TRC) is digging 3 wells in Rafah Moraj area. The project has just started and should be finished by the end of March 2010. Due to the recent rail fall, the digging has been put on hold. The needed materials are pumps, motors, generators, UPVC pipes, steal pipes, and power control bored and 35 tons of Quartzes gravel. The supplier for this project is El-Abed Co.

EMCC (in cooperation with QRC, CMWU & IDB) is implementing the El-Daouha Well in the middle of the El-Magazi area. The project started in the summer and should be finished by now. The well is ready to operate but is lacking some materials such as motors and a generator, which can’t get in to Gaza due to the blockade. EMCC got a temporary generator form CMWU in order to operate it, but when the electricity is off the generator stops working as well.

Muslim Hands (in cooperation with CMWU and Dier El-Balah municipality) is implementing a water well. The well will work around 12 hours per day, providing 100-120l of water per capita per day.

OxfamGB is in the middle of a tendering process for the installaion of the Shokka booster pumps and Khan Younis water system.

Wastewater infrastructure

ACF (with the support OCHA) secured a fund as an emergency response to Improve The Effluent Of Treated Water Quality At Beit Lahia Wastewater Treatment Plant. The work will be carried out by a local contractor and is to be completed on by the end of the year.

OxfamGB reports preparing a project with CMWU for the construction of a sewage network in Sekka and Kateeba street.

ICRC (in cooperation with CMWU) and Rafah’s municipality is implementing a wastewater treatment plant in Tal El-Sultan area. The project started in September and is supposed to finish by August 2010. The project is divided into 3 steps. The first one is construction of biotowers is still in “digging phase”. The supplier for this step is Ali&Masoud Co. The second step is the installation of an influent pumping station, for which the contracts are being signed. For the third phase, the installation of a pressure line, the materials are unavailable on the local market. The material is expected to arrive in Gaza by next week. All households in Rafah’s area will benefit form this project.

ICRC (in cooperation with CMWU) is implementing the Wadi Gaza wastewater treatment. The needed materials are available on the local market.

ICRC (in cooperation with CMWU) is implementing a storm water pipeline in KhanYounes-Salah El-Deen area. The project is still in a tendering process, and is supposed to finished by the end of the year. All the needed materials are available on the local market. All households of Khan Younes should benefit from this project.

Solid waste

COOPI continues to implement solid waste collection activities through their cash for work programme. The project is expected to last until February 2010. COOPI has currently reached 459 beneficiaries in Gaza City, Beit Lahiya, Beit Hanoun, Jabalia and Um al Nasser, collecting an average of 1500 tons per week. The rehabilitation of Al Yarmouk transfer station by COOPI is expected to start on November/December 2009.


UNICEF is working with IRD to rehabilitate sanitary facilities in 12 schools in North Gaza and Gaza city in cooperation with MOEHE. The project will improve sanitary facilities in these schools for an estimate of 14,000 students. The project is still in a tendering stage.

Water Scarcity

A meeting of the WASH Cluster Scarcity Working Group was held on 14th October 2009 in Hebron. National & international organizations, which had participated in the previous meeting of the Scarcity Task Force, as well as OCHA, PWA and WBWD participated in this meeting. The meeting discussed the need for reassessment of the filling points, that were presented as key interventions during previous meeting. The future plans for drought preparedness were also discussed. WASH Cluster Coordinator introduced a draft for the proposed structure for a comprehensive WASH Scarcity Task Force, that would create an ownership of the issue with the Government and also enable pitching the scarcity issue at higher level.

It was decided that the cluster will follow up on status of all 22 requested interventions and liaise with PWA on this. WBWD will provide the Cluster with quotations for the 5 filling points approved by Mekorot, for immediate implementation.

Field visit to filling points

As a follow up of the decision taken in the last Scarcity Working Group meeting in Hebron on 14th October, the WASH Cluster organized a joint site visit to some identified water scarce regions in the Jordan Valley / Jericho on Wednesday 12th Nov. 2009. The team comprised of WBWD, PWA, EWASH, PHG, CISP and the WASH Cluster. They visited the following filling points: North of Jerricho, near Al Anju, Jurrat Al Mujadrin, Nabi Musa and Route 449 West of Kohav Hash Akhar Settlement. The main objective would be to reassess the field status of these filling points (with the support of CISP) and decide about the implementation plans, if any. The Water Scarcity Working Group will follow up on these locations.

Area C

The WASH Cluster has been identified - along with Education and Shelter- as a key sector for advocating the concerns around permitting process and the impact of the delay in implementing the projects in Area C. The Cluster is presently compiling the list of such WASH projects that have been delayed at various stages of permit applications, with either PWA or JWC or the ICA.

Information is solicited from the agencies operational in Area C. Efforts are being made to prioritise projects that are strictly humanitarian and conform to the indicators the cluster decided for the CAP interventions. Thus, projects which would have helped communities with water availability <60lpcd and paying water costs >20NIS per cu.m, are considered on priority basis.

WASH Cluster activities

The Cluster team to the oPt is now complete with the most recent reinforcement of Zain Abu Qasem, as the new Gaza Information Officer. Among other tasks, the new information officer will work together with the partner organizations to update tracking of the Gaza response through the GRAD.

Contingency planning

In November the WASH Cluster Working Group met twice on the contingency plan for the West Bank. A plan is being drafted at the moment.

Gaza household survey

In August, September and October 1250 households have been interviewed. The first comparative report is being prepared by PHG, using global WASH Cluster survey guidelines. The results will be crosschecked with the agencies’ activities in Gaza.

EWASH Advocacy Task Force

The EWASH Advocacy Task Force has had a change of staff for its West Bank’s office. The team is about to publish its send fact sheet on access to water in the West Bank and preparing two more on Water Quality and Quantity in Gaza and Right to Water.

End of October the EWASH Advocacy Task Force organized two events in Friends International Center in Ramallah, one showing the first Gaza film produced by LifeSource for the EWASH ‘Gaza is floating’ and the other one presenting the Amnesty International report ‘Demand Dignity: Troubled waters - Palestinians denied fair access to water’. Both events were well attended and enjoyed a lively debate. The latter event got some press coverage as well.

The team, both in Gaza and the West Bank has been involved in media work around different events, such as the publication of the AI report, linking press with partners working in the field. The Gaza office has also been involved in the successful organization of another HCT media event on winterization.

On November 7th, the Advocacy Task Force also participated in a ‘Waterfonie’ exhibition and panel discussion organised by the Willie Brandt Centre in Jerusalem in cooperation with the Freidrich Ebert Stiftung Foundation. The team organized for Mark Buttle, Gaza WASH coordinator to speak and showed Lifesource film 'Gaza is Floating'. The event enjoyed a mixed Israeli and international audience.

An EWASH working group convened to prepare the right to water campaign around the 10 December Human Rights day. As a result of this meeting, a campaign call was send out. The campaign will focus on 3 levels: community level, national level and international level.

In a meanwhile, the second Gaza film is in preproduction, building up on the input by the Advocacy Task Force Working Group.

Dates for your diary
• Strategic planning meeting in Gaza December 8th at 9:00am, place to be determined
• WASH cluster meeting in Ramallah on Tuesday, December 1st at PWA

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