Opening of desalination plant in Gaza and Mladenov calls for elections

 The second and third stages of the desalination plant were opened in the Gaza Strip on Wednesday, in the presence of Palestinian and international figures.

The EU supported the Gaza Strip's only desalination plant project, implemented by UNICEF, in collaboration with the Water Authority and the Coastal Municipalities Water Utility.

The opening ceremony was attended by UN Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Nikolai Miladinov, EU Ambassador Thomas and an accompanying delegation, as well as international figures from UNICEF and others, in the presence of Palestinian figures, including Minister Mazen Ghoneim, President of the Water Authority.

Miladinov said that the plant in its first phase was providing safe water to more than 75 thousand people, and with the opening of the second and third phase will become the provision of safe water to another 250 thousand people, considering that the opening of the new stages is an example of the important joint work of the United Nations, UNICEF and the European Union And the Palestinian Authority to address fundamental humanitarian problems and work to bring about change.

"This particular project demonstrates not only the importance of desalination to the future, but also the importance of solar panels in the production of energy for future projects."

"If there is something that I must show regret and regret, it is only one thing," he said. He pointed out that the people of Gaza have been suffering difficult conditions for 13 years, during which they lived three wars and are afraid of another war, and suffer from division and away from their brothers in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, and forced to beg medical care, food and electricity, and we have a responsibility to find solutions to the challenges Human and political together.

Addressing the Palestinian election file, the UN official expressed hope that the promise would be fulfilled for the first time since 2006 and that the Palestinians would choose their leadership.

Mazen Ghoneim, head of the Palestinian Authority for Water, said that the Palestinian Authority has allocated 5 dunums to be used for the construction of a solar energy project that will be able to operate 30% of this plant.

Ghoneim expressed his hope that the construction of the solar power plant will be completed next year. He pointed out that this law is a good example in cooperation between the parties at the Palestinian and international level.

Ghoneim referred to the visit of Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coffini yesterday to the plant and the wastewater treatment plant in the northern Gaza Strip, which Ireland will finance the solar power plant for 8 million euros, and visited several specialized stations, including the Sudanese desalination plant with a capacity of 10,000 cubic meters per day, which It was piloted until the power line is completed to operate at full capacity.

The President of the Water Authority, the existence of accelerated steps to address the catastrophic situation in terms of environmental disaster expected by the end of 2020, pointing out that the capacity of the Deir al-Balah plant has been increased from 2600 cubic meters, to 6000.

He pointed out that the plan is going on despite some obstacles, pointing out that work is being done on projects to make a qualitative leap at the level of agriculture in Gaza, and that there are integrated projects are being worked on, including a project signed with the Climate Fund through the French Development Agency for $ 24 million, to support Solar and irrigation projects in the northern Gaza Strip.

He pointed out that the most important and strategic project is the main desalination plant, which started work despite all the challenges. He pointed out that more than 81% of the funding allocated at the donor conference, which is approximately $ 700 million, and tenders for the southern carrier and the water system for the receipt of water from the Israeli company Macrot.

He pointed out that a number of projects were visited in the center and south of the Gaza Strip, and that these projects are now on the ground and are coordinated with all partners to work on the operation and to announce the end of the catastrophic environmental crisis in Gaza.

Ghneim called on UN coordinator Mladenov to press the occupation to accelerate the entry of materials and personnel in order to facilitate the activation of these projects and stop the suffering of the people of Gaza. The occupation held direct responsibility for the crisis in the West Bank and Gaza and the financial, water and geographical siege in the Gaza Strip.

He stressed that the Water Authority is working in Gaza and the West Bank to resolve the crisis, noting that the water situation in the West Bank is no less dangerous than what is in Gaza.

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