Things have changed for the local population in Khan Younis, south of Gaza, as the sewage basin randomly established in the area started leaking untreated sewage to the shallow coastal aquifer. The aquifer became highly polluted and even caused skin diseases to the children as the water used is not treated properly.
Ibrahim El Majayda, from Khan Younis, south Gaza who is married and has eight children; four boys and four girls, is one of the residents whose livelihood was affected as the aquifer became polluted. “We used to farm, plant and sell our produce. Now the branches and the leaves are dead and some fruits even changed taste. We lost 150 dunums (15 hectares) of green areas. We have to buy drinking water. We pay around USD 7.3 for 1000 litres and it only lasts for three days”.
Ibrahim continues to tell the story of how the bad odor rising off the
area is causing skin diseases to the children because of the bites.
“last summer, my daughter Jannat had a serious derma disease caused by
insect bites. It took the whole summer for her to heal and she continues
to be sick on annual bases. She always asks when the insects will
disappear so she can feel better and play outside,”
The United Nations Development Programme is constructing Khan Younis Waste Water Treatment Plant that is financed from the Government of Japan and the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development through the Islamic Development Bank as a response to the environmental and hygienic needs of the population. The USD 58 million plant will offer 26,600 cubic meters per day flow capacity and will serve approximately 217,000 residents in its first phase of operation.
Once the construction will be completed in 2020, all random basins will be removed and directed to the plant located away from the populated area. This project will help Al Mawasi residents restore their water supply and mitigate the consequences of the crisis.
Ibrahim El Majayda knew about UNDP’s project, he says “We welcome this project as it will help alleviate our suffering. We hope it will be completed soon so that we can start seeing its results on the ground and regain our productive land.”
This project will help to have safe drinking water for people and to have clean water for agriculture.
The new waste water treatment plant will contribute to the reduction of pollution in Khan Younis. Know more about UNDP Programme of Assistance to the Palestinian People work .