ACTNews, GAZA - The drilling sound echoed behind Al Khawaja Mosque, Wadi Al Salqa City, in the Gaza Strip. Some residents worked together in the blazing heat to dig a well on Wednesday (6/10).
They were working to construct a water source behind Al Khawaja Mosque, supported by Global Wakaf – ACT, as revealed by Said Mukkafiy from Global Humanity Response (GHR) – Aksi Cepat Tanggap (ACT).
"We are constructing a Waqf Well in this area as an effort to bring clean water and proper sanitation in the Gaza region. The ongoing conflict has damaged many public facilities, including sanitary facilities and others. We have built 4 Waqf Wells in Palestine so far," added said.
One of the reasons of the water crisis in Gaza is the ongoing humanitarian crisis, as revealed by Michael Lynk, one of the Special Rapporteurs at the United Nations (UN)
Some Gazan residents drilling the well. (ACTNews)
"As of 2017, more than 96% of Gaza’s coastal aquifer – the main source of water for residents of Gaza – has become unfit for human consumption. The reasons include over-extraction because of Gaza’s extremely dense population, contamination with sewage and seawater, Israel’s 12-year old blockade, and asymmetrical wars which has left Gaza’s infrastructure severely crippled and with a near-constant electricity shortage, "Lynk wrote in a report which was published on March 18, 2019.
Palestine is now experiencing dire clean water crisis. Public Radio International reported, 20 years ago, 85 percent of Gaza’s drinking wells were too contaminated for human consumption. Today, that figure is 97 percent. Unsafe drinking water has led to a worsening health crisis. Gazan children suffer from diarrhea, kidney disease, stunted growth and impaired IQ.
Monther Shublaq, Director of Coastal Municipalities Water Utility, said that to improve the water situation in the Gaza Strip, step-by-step solutions must be found, such as small desalination plants, rainwater collection, wastewater treatment, seawater desalination and infrastructure like reservoirs and pipelines.
With so many problems that the Palestinians are facing, Global Wakaf - ACT plans to finish the Waqf Well in Wadi Al Salqa as soon as possible, "We plan that, Insha Allah, we will finish the well this week. Hopefully more than 1,000 people will benefit from the Waqf Well, "concluded Said.