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Monday, January 12, 2009

Press Release by Gaza's Coastal Municipalities Water Utility

This is a war crime depriving the citizens of Gaza of clean water and the ability to treat their sewage!

Press Release: By Coastal Municipalities Water Utility
January 10, 2009 -- Gaza, Palestine

Due to the current situation in the Gaza Strip that was imposed by
the Israeli military operations since Saturday 27/12/2008, the
Coastal Municipalities Water Utility "CMWU" hereby announces its
inability to (failure) maintain its services in both the water sector in terms
of production and distribution and wastewater sector in terms of collection
and discharging in Gaza Strip governorates. Despite our several appeals to
all international aid agencies and organizations to help out and support our
technical teams in keeping all water and wastewater facilities operational
and repairing the infrastructure damages and destructions caused by the
Israeli bombarding, but all these requests were declined until this moment.
In addition to the continuation of many obstacles during the past three
years such as closures and sieges, the CMWU faced acute shortage in
necessary spare parts, equipments, and machines for affording
the required infrastructural services and had to deal with
electricity insufficiency and fuel (diesel) shortage as power supply
alternative for restoring these services.

According to the above, the CMWU would like to brief the followings:
1. The water carrier line between Al-Moghraga wells and Nussierate city
was damaged due to Israeli air strikes to nearby El Zahraa'a and Nussierate
Bridge . As a result, more than 30,000 residents in Nussierate city are
inaccessible to water services.
2. Complete destruction of El-Edara Well in eastern side of Jabalia city. As
a result, more than 25,000 residents in Jabalia city are inaccessible to
water services. "CMWU" wants to state that the well operator has been
deceived due to Israeli bombarding.
3. The main electrical transistor that belongs to El Shiekh Ejleen water well
has been damaged. As a result, more than 40,000 residents of southern Tal
El Hawa city and the surrounding residential towers are out of water
4. The main 12" steel water carrier that supply 40% of total water produced
from Gaza city northern side has been destroyed due to the Israeli military
operations. As a result, more than 200,000 residents in Gaza city are out of
vital water source.
5. Main sewerage line in Bait Hanoun city has been destroyed by the Israeli
military actions. The line is not repaired until this moment, which caused
health hazardous consequences.
6. The main power generator in Beit Lahia wastewater treatment
plant "BLWWTP" has been targeted by the Israeli military operations,
which halted the CMWU from carrying on its services in collection
and discharging the wastewater in Beit Lahia city. In addition to
several damages in several wastewater networks due to continuous Israeli
7. Due to the presence of the Israeli troops in Netzarim area, the CMWU
states that the Gaza Wastewater Treatment Plant is completely out of
operation and yet the plant is unable to discharge the wastewater to the
sea. As a result, the collection ponds are threatened to be broken down at
any moment in which it will impose serious catastrophic humanitarian,
health, and environmental consequences on the surrounding lives and
properties from danger of sewerage floods.
8. Since the beginning of the Israeli military operations in Gaza Strip, the
wastewater level in main Beit Lahia discharging pond is increasing due to
power shortage and lack of fuel in the plant. As a result, major catastrophe
shall threaten the lives of thousands of residents of eastern Beit Lahia city
of danger of drowning in the sewage flooding.
9. The Coastal Municipalities Water Utility "CMWU" assures that it has
applied for several coordination requests from the Israeli side and through
the Palestinian Water Authority "PWA", International Committee of Red
Cross "ICRC", UNRWA, and all international humanitarian aid
organizations working in Gaza strip to facilitate the CMWU to repair all the
aforesaid damages points, and to distribute the fuel (diesel) to all water
and wastewater facilities that was donated by UNRWA as an urgent aid to
CMWU, but all these requests were declined and failed until this moment.

The Coastal Municipalities Water Utility "CMWU" appeals all international
humanitarian aid organizations allover the world for quick and prompt
intervention and involvement with the Israeli side to allow the CMWU for
providing and affording the minimum basic water and wastewater services
and restoring the operational capability of its water and wastewater
facilities to avoid further serious catastrophic humanitarian, health, and
environmental consequences under this hard situation in Gaza Strip.

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