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Source: USAID West Bank & Gaza
14 April 2005

Turning on the Water Taps In Anza

ANZA, WEST BANK - Palestinian officials opened Wednesday an American-funded, 500 cubic meter reservoir that will triple the amount of clean, safe water available to families in this village south of Jenin.

A $200,000 contribution from the American people through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) provided for the construction of the circular, reinforced concrete reservoir, the purchase of a booster pump and the installation of steel water pipes.

Jenin Governor Qadura Moussa attended the inauguration as did Dr. Hussein Araj, the Deputy Minister of Local Government and Mr. Aref Barahmah, head of the Village Council.

Because the village had no water reservoir for storage, Anza's 2,150 residents had access to only 20 liters of water per person, per day for domestic consumption -- drinking, cleaning, cooking and gardening. The World Health Organization's (WHO) benchmark is 100 liters of water per person per day.

The new reservoir will provide each resident with at least 60 liters of water a day - not perfect but a major improvement.

The water supply situation in the village had been dire for years. Not all the houses in the village were connected to the old water network and only 25% of the families received water all year round. The village council, together with the Palestinian Water Authority (PWA), tried to remedy the situation by establishing a filling point so that water could be delivered by private tankers.

But the water tankers posed a health hazard because the standpipe and hose at the filling point were unprotected from contamination and the tankers were not regularly drained, cleaned and disinfected. Nor were their hose nozzles sterilized prior to use.

The quality of the water now received by Anza residents complies with the standards set by WHO and the Palestinian Authority.

Recognizing Anza's urgent water needs, the PWA and the Anza Village Council proposed the reservoir project and suggested that it be located at the highest point in the village to allow for water distribution via gravity.

The project, which created more than 1,200 person days of employment, was implemented for USAID by the CARE International Village Services Program and by Rafeed, a humanitarian program that addresses emergency needs in the West Bank and Gaza.

USAID has spent more than $1.5 billion to combat poverty, create jobs, improve education, build roads and water systems, construct and equip medical clinics, and promote good governance in the West Bank and Gaza.

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