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

Gaza Emergency WASH Cluster weekly situation report
Number 12
                                            29th May

Summary overview
    Inauguration of desalination plant of Al Bureij Camp in Gaza
    • WHO studies show increase of the incidence rate of watery diarrhoeal disease in Gaza Jan – April
    • Large part of the water scarcity response in the West Bank is funded

General situation
There are currently 28,000 persons in Beit Lahiya (Al Atatra and Salatin), East Jabalaya (Ezbet Abed Rabu) and Gaza City (Az Zeitoun) not having access to network water. This reflects the number of persons living in areas where the water networks were severely or partially damaged. These households mainly get their water through private water vendors, paying approximately 1 NIS per 20 litres.

Tdh-Italy and GVC together with PHG, and in coordination with the PWA and the CMWU, inaugurated the desalination plant of Al Bureij Camp on May 26; the WASH coordinator for Gaza made a short speech. The plant has been operational since May 5th, providing potable running water directly to the houses of about 22,000 Al Bureij Camp refugees. GVC Representative Russo thanked ECHO, the PWA and the CMWU for their precious support because of which the plant was finally allowed to enter Gaza on February 26 of this year.

WHO has conducted studies of faecal coliform during April and 63 samples (13%) out of the 484 samples collected were contaminated with total coliform and faecal coliform. The majority of the contaminated samples were collected from the water storage tanks at houses, schools, clinics, hospitals and water desalination units and private wells. No contamination has been found in water samples collected from the public wells and water networks.

According to WHO the incidence rate of watery diarrhoeal disease among children aged 0-3 was higher during the period Jan-Apr 2009 than its level during the same period of 2008, although not to the level of outbreaks. The major increase occurred in Khan Younis (77% increase) and North Gaza District (88% increase).

West Bank.

The planning of the response to the water scarcity in the West Bank is being finalised. ECHO will be funding a large part of the response and currently prioritization of interventions is ongoing. In brief ACF, CISP, CARE, ACTED and Oxfam will cover different geographic areas and distribute water and fodder, according to agreed criteria. 25/liters/person/day and 9/liters/animal/day will be distributed as well as 1 kilo of fodder/animal/day for a minimum of 60 days. There will be a limit of 20 animals/household for the intervention.

There have been cases of water contamination (but no water-borne diseases) recorded in Dheisheh camp (Bethlehem area). UNRWA, PWA and Bethlehem Governorate are replacing the deteriorated pipes belonging to Bethlehem Water Authority.

There are some difficulties in the area of solid waste management for eight West Bank refuge camps comprising more than half of the camps’ population. UNRWA is currently prevented from accessing dumping sites for Shufat, Kalandia, Balata, Askar, Camp no.1, Tulkarm, Nur Shams and Jenin camps. Also, the fees of the local authority (municipalities & dumping sites), for transport and disposal of solid waste have significantly increased, particularly in the northern area: Balata, Askar and Camp no.1 camps. Since UNRWA does not manage or operate dump sites, the solid waste disposal is connected with the municipalities and many of the municipalities are using now the new dump sites where cost has risen dramatically.

WASH Cluster humanitarian response – Gaza

Drinking and domestic water distribution
The water tankering has been discontinued, with the exception of CARE, which is distributing domestic water to the neighbourhoods in northern Gaza (Bait Lahiya, East Jabalaya and Gaza City) that are still without access to water through the network.

Islamic Relief continues to distribute water for schools all over the Gaza strip. The distribution will continue until the end of June, to cover the final exams period.

Oxfam has so far distributed 2590 (out of 2850) roof water tanks (930 in North Gaza, 610 in Gaza City, 450 in Middle Area, 300 in Khan Younis and 300 in Rafah) to beneficiaries.

Water infrastructure
Islamic Relief is preparing a project for a new water well in Al Mawasi (or another location in Khan Younis), which (if in Al Mawasi) will benefit approximately 10,000 people at the end of the project in September 2009. They are also working on constructing a water network at Al Barazil/Salam District in Rafah which will benefit 19,000 residents in addition to the construction of water carriers for new three wells in Rafah with 15,000 beneficiaries.

Save the Children continues to work on the replacement of 600 meters of sewage main pipeline in Rafah city, and have completed the rehabilitation of water and sanitation systems in 20 pre-schools in different areas in the Gaza strip.

CMWU and ACF have started rehabilitating water networks in 7 neighborhoods in Gaza City and Northern Gaza. The project is expected to be finished by July 30th and will assist 110,000 people.

CARE has installed a carrier line at Aslan (Beit Lahiya), which connects the operating well to the house connection. The well is functioning on diesel and only works for 2 - 4 hours per day due to lack of electrical transformers, which are not being allowed to enter into Gaza.

CMWU and QRC have completed two wells in Jabalia, each giving 70m3 /hour.

CMWU and OXFAM have started installing 19 filling points (5 m3 each) in Joh Deik, Beit Lahia, Al Zaitoun, Moghraqa, Abu daher in Khanyounis, As Salam, Al Fukhari, As Shoka and East of Al Buraige. They are also working together installing 4 drinking water desalination units in Zawayda (Mid area), Bani Suheila (Khan Younis), As Seka (Rafah) and Al Amal (Khanyounis) and have also completed reparations of sewer pipes in Beit Hanoun and Northern Area.

Solid waste
COOPI has gotten new funding to continue the solid waste management in Gaza City. There has been a gap in the waste collection, but it will start again on June 6th, with 50 persons getting cashfor-work and 1000 tonnes of waste collected every week.

UNRWA has assisted Bani Suhial municipality in removing 737 tonnes of accumulated solid waste from their temporary dumping sites at Bani Suhila area.

Hygiene and NFIs

ACF has been developing and distributing 10,000 leaflets concerning “Bad and Good use of water” and “Bad and Good hygiene practices”. They have also conducted 12 workshops for 600 persons concerning “Hygiene behaviours and effect of contaminated water on health”, “Abuse of water”, “Saving water” and “Illega connections”.

WASH cluster activities

The final version of the CAP has been submitted to OCHA. The total sum for the WASH cluster was 31,520,412 dollars, covering 38 projects.

1st of June is the new deadline for input to the GRAD (Gaza Response Activity Database) and all agencies are strongly encouraged to make sure that their data is updated and correct. OCHA will create new output (maps, charts, etc) based on the input given.

Oxfam is finalising a proposal (with input from WASH coordination in Gaza) for national-level WASH advocacy led by an Advocacy Task Force. If the funding is approved, the work of agreeing on a Terms of Reference for the task force groups in Gaza and the West Bank will commence July 1st. The HCT advocacy group has decided to do monthly press briefings, focusing on different issues to raise awareness of the impact of the current restrictions. WASH will be the focus of the press briefing in August.

WASH priorities in Gaza are to assist in the movement of materials into Gaza as much as possible, to facilitate future handover to a Palestinian-run body such as EWASH, and to move forward the process of contingency planning.


The main constraint is still access of material into Gaza. Currently CMWU and the WASH Cluster is working on consolidating the different agency’s needs for material to enter Gaza into one list, as well as coordinating this list with the Logistics Cluster information.

    Highlights for next two weeks
    • Next WASH cluster meeting in Gaza June 2nd
    • Next WASH cluster meeting in Ramallah June 4th
    • WASH in Gaza will meet with CoGAT to discuss the entry of materials into Gaza

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

Oscar Butragueno
Interim Cluster Coordinator 054 7787 629

Subha Ghannam
e-WASH Coordinator 059 9644 868

Mark Buttle
Gaza WASH Cluster focal point 059 8910 838

Ghassan Madieh
West bank Cluster focal point 059 8921 835

Nina Odling
WASH Information Manager 054 7787 683

Najla Shawa
Gaza WASH Information Manager 059 8910 834

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