Gaza Faces Deepening Water Crisis: NGO
TEHRAN (Tasnim) - An environmentalist organization said Palestinians in the Gaza Strip are facing a deepening water crisis as Israel maintains its crippling siege on the impoverished coastal enclave.
Some 1.7 million Gazans are facing water shortages, and the salinity of nearly 90 percent of drinking water in Gaza is above standard levels, the Friends of the Earth Middle East organization experts stated during a conference held in the occupied Palestinian territories on Wednesday.
The experts also warned of an increasing risk of waterborne diseases as the Gaza Strip is also facing a sewage crisis, Press TV reported.
“In Gaza, the first desalination plant built by the World Bank was completed in October of last year,” said Friends of the Earth Middle East Director Gidon Bromberg. “But the tragedy is that it has no electricity to run it.”
Gaza municipality has also declared a state of emergency, and experts have warned of an environmental crisis in the besieged enclave.
Fuel and electricity shortages in the Israeli-blockaded Palestinian territory have worsened in recent months due to Egypt’s closure of Gaza tunnels. These tunnels are the only lifeline for Palestinians living under the Israeli siege.
Gaza has been blockaded since June 2007, a situation that has caused a decline in the standard of living, unprecedented levels of unemployment, and unrelenting poverty.
Israel denies about 1.7 million people in Gaza their basic rights, such as freedom of movement, jobs that pay proper wages, and adequate healthcare and education.