Water, Sanitation and Hygiene

In the Gaza Strip, the unsustainable water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) situation exacerbated by the longstanding blockade has been compounded by the 2014 conflict. Problems arising from the prohibition on entry of ‘dual-use’ materials, inadequate power supplies and lack of government regulation have seriously affected the WASH situation in Gaza. The majority of Palestinian communities in Area C of the West Bank are not connected to the water network or are irregularly supplied by it, forcing people to rely on expensive tankered water. Inadequate water for drinking, domestic consumption and for livestock, is affecting the overall resilience of these communities. The destruction of essential WASH infrastructure lacking building permits generates a coercive environment, and can lead to displacement, poverty and increased risk of disease and illness.

Articles, statements and press releases

21 September 2018 |

In 2017, with funding received through the Humanitarian Fund for the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt HF), the Rural Women’s Development Society initiated a project aimed at providing Palestinian farmers in Gaza with solar alternatives to operate irrigation wells and pumping systems.

21 September 2018 |

In 2017, with funding received through the Humanitarian Fund for the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt HF), the Rural Women’s Development Society initiated a project aimed at providing Palestinian farmers in Gaza with solar alternatives to operate irrigation wells and pumping systems.

21 September 2018 |

In 2017, with funding received through the Humanitarian Fund for the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt HF), the Rural Women’s Development Society initiated a project aimed at providing Palestinian farmers in Gaza with solar alternatives to operate irrigation wells and pumping systems.

17 September 2018 |

Today, the Humanitarian Coordinator, Jamie McGoldrick, announced the release of US$1 million from the Humanitarian Fund for the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt HF) to prevent the collapse of life-saving services in the Gaza Strip. The allocation will go to the UN-Assisted Emergency Fuel Programme, which provides emergency fuel, mainly for back-up electricity generators, at around 250 critical health, water and sanitation facilities in the Gaza Strip.

5 September 2018 |

This week, final stocks of emergency fuel will be delivered to critical facilities in the Gaza Strip, through the United Nations-Assisted Emergency Fuel Program. The Humanitarian Coordinator, Jamie McGoldrick, has written to the donor community requesting immediate support for the program, which provides life-saving emergency fuel to operate standby emergency power generators at critical health centers, and water and sanitation facilities in the Gaza Strip. Funds donated thus far in 2018 have been depleted.

9 August 2018 |
Ahlam joining her children in swimming at the beach.  Dear Al Balah Camp. © Photo Credit: Rehaf Batniji/OXFAM 2018

The immense electricity deficit affecting the Gaza Strip, alongside the longstanding shortage of adequate sanitation infrastructure, continues to result in the discharge of 100-108 million litres of poorly treated sewage into the sea every day. This situation poses serious health and environmental hazards, particularly during the summer when swimming in the sea is one of the few recreational activities available to the population of Gaza. According to WHO, water-related diseases are estimated to account for over one-fourth of illnesses and are the primary cause of child morbidity in the Gaza Strip. The current operation of wastewater treatment plants may be undermined further in the near future due to the funding gaps facing the UN programme of emergency fuel to run backup generators at critical facilities, as well as the recent tightening of the blockade.