$ 10 million from the World Bank to treat wastewater in Gaza

 The World Bank announced a grant of $ 10 million to finance the operation and maintenance of the North Gaza wastewater treatment plant for a period of four years, and to create the conditions necessary to provide sustainable services for wastewater treatment.

In line with previous partnership projects in this sector, the new wastewater treatment sustainability project will receive an additional $ 3.7 million grant from donor partners, members of the multi-donor trust fund for the Palestinian Partnership for Infrastructure Development managed by the World Bank.

"The Gaza Strip has suffered from an environmental disaster for years due to sewage pollution affecting thousands of Palestinians," said Kanthan Shankar, Director and Resident Representative of the World Bank in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. The new project builds on the expanded efforts of the World Bank and donor partners to complete the process. The long-awaited construction of the North Gaza wastewater treatment plant. Now, the new project is focusing on operating and maintaining the treatment plant, while gradually working to build the institutional capacity for sustainable self-management. ”

The emergency project to construct a sewage treatment plant in northern Gaza represented a solution to the problem of untreated wastewater, which four municipalities are collecting and disposing of in the northern Beit Lahiya area. Over time, a lake of untreated wastewater formed, causing severe pollution of the underground water reservoirs on the coast, the main source of drinking water. The amount of wastewater has increased over the years, leading to floods, deaths, injuries and property damage to residents of the surrounding areas.

The treatment plant set up under the World Bank project provides an effective solution to the problem of effluent from wastewater, prevents the degradation of groundwater reservoirs, and contributes to reducing flood risks.

The financial collapse of the Palestinian economy in 2018 jeopardized the already weak financial capabilities of the Palestinian Water Authority and hampered the financing of wastewater treatment facilities. This led to the suspension of operations and the return to the conditions that prevailed before the construction of the treatment plant.

The new project aims to maintain previous results and vital services for wastewater treatment, and it works in two parallel tracks, where it will finance operation and maintenance work for a period of four years to support the continuation of wastewater treatment services in northern Gaza, and rehabilitate some equipment and civil works necessary to build the capacity of treatment facilities To withstand the shocks. The project also aims to strengthen the sector's institutions by providing technical assistance to build capacities for the sustainability of wastewater services. This will allow the gradual transfer of responsibilities for providing services to the Coastal Municipalities Water Utility, to play the role of the water utility in the sector, and then to bring together the 25 municipal service providers in the Gaza Strip.

"The operation of the treatment plant will benefit approximately an estimated 400,000 residents, and provide opportunities for the use of treated water in the northern Gaza area," said Adnan Ghosheh, a senior expert on water and sanitation at the World Bank. The great will benefit the general population in the Gaza Strip, and will have a substantial longer-term impact, especially in an environment affected by conflict. "


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