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Source: World Bank
9 January 1996

Project: WEST BANK AND GAZA-Gaza Water & Sanitation Services
Project ID No     : GZ-SF-40505
Region            : Middle East & North Africa
Sector            : Water
Appraisal Date    : January 09, 1996             IBRD Amount ($m):
Board Date        : March 26, 1996               IDA  Amount ($m):    25.00
Managing Division : MNCWG
Lending Instrument: Specific Investment Loan                 Status: Lending
EA Category       : B
Date for receipt of EA by Bank: N/A
Date EA Category Assigned: September 26, 1995

     The proposed project would provide assistance to improve the water and
sanitation services in Gaza.  The central component would be a management
contract for 4 years with an internationally experienced water/wastewater
utility company to improve management of services.  The project will also
finance operating capital for the operator, essential to improve those
services.  An investment component will finance priority rehabilitation and

extension of infrastructure for these services.  In addition, the project
will support priority areas of water resources management (OP 4.07) for
establishing strong legal and regulatory frameworks and an institutional
framework conducive to efficient service provision by either a public or
private entity.

     One of the main environmental issues in Gaza, according to the Country
Assistance Strategy Note on Environment, is water resources and waste
management and specifically the highest priority is management of the
groundwater aquifer which is overexploited and seriously contaminated.
Successful management requires development of a management plan together
with an effective program for regulation of water use and investments in
infrastructure (wastewater treatment and solid waste management in

     Some activities under the project will cause local disruption during
implementation due to open trenching and other excavations, will increase
demand for local building materials, and may result in the chance to find
buried materials of archaelogical significance.

     Every project will be subject to environmental review as part of the
screening process.  Environmental mitigation and monitoring will be specified
as required.  In addition, a list of screened projects will be submitted
to both Palestinian environmental authorities and to the regional and central
environment divisions of the the World Bank.  Since the project does not
include any activity that would be given an "A" category rating,
environmental assessments are not proposed.  Proposals for new wells will
require a permit from the responsible authority and in addition are to be
reviewed by the Water Resources Action Program.  The expansion of wastewater

treatment capacity is already committed by bilateral donors.  Any project
increasing the quantity of collected wastewater will include consideration of
the adequacy of treatment and disposal/reuse.

    The activities to be supported comprise small and medium projects for
the rehabilitation, upgrading and extension of water and wastewater services
whose potential environmental impact can be anticipated and effective
measures taken to address any potential issues.  Provision has been made that
any studies supported under the proposed project to prepare projects for
implementation under the proposed project or through any other program or
donor organization would include the preparation of environmental assessments
or environmental reviews consistent with the requirements of the Palestinian
authorities and the World Bank.  The project has no anticipated resettlement
requirements, and does not impact wetlands, wildlands coral reefs or the

habitat of endangered species.


    The proposed project activities have been identified and would be
developed in close collaboration with Palestinian authorities and will be
reviewed by environmental authorities.  The Project Steering Committee will
include a representative from the environmental authority.  Close
collaboration is maintained with the Environment Department of the Ministry
of Planning and International Cooperation and the technical assistance
program from the Netherlands on the Environmental Profile of Gaza.  In most
cases there are few if any alternatives to the proposed projects.  Least cost
analysis will generally be relied upon for economic analysis, including any
environmental costs.

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