Gaza: Water in the line of fire

gaza water 545a

"Hundreds of thousands of people in Gaza are now without water. Within days, the entire population of the Strip may be desperately short of water," according to Jacques de Maio, head of the ICRC delegation in Israel and the occupied territories.

"Water and electrical services are also affected as a result of the current hostilities. If they do not stop, the question is not if but when an already beleaguered population will face an acute water crisis," he added.

Hospitals, refugee camps, schools, and homes all need water and electricity in order to function, but recent attacks have put water and electrical systems out of action. To make matters worse, the intensified fighting is preventing technicians from carrying out essential repairs. Following the deaths of several municipal water technicians over the past few days, Gaza’s water service provider has suspended all field operations until the safety of its staff can be guaranteed.

As a result, hundreds of thousands more people will soon find there is no water when they turn on the tap.

//Al Montada, Gaza City. Sewage Pumping Station No. 1, damaged by an air strike on 8 July 2014.

"Gaza's water system has been deteriorating for years. The latest attacks are the last straw. Safe drinking water is becoming increasingly scarce in the Strip, just as temperatures are soaring. Water is becoming contaminated and sewage is overflowing, bringing a serious risk of disease," said ICRC water and sanitation expert Guillaume Pierrehumbert. "In recent days, ICRC teams have helped the authorities conduct essential emergency repairs to water and sanitation infrastructure in Gaza, improving the situation for over 90,000 people, but bolder action is urgently required."

Under international humanitarian law, the parties to a conflict must distinguish between military objectives and civilian objects and between combatants and civilians. They must also avoid harming civilians or civilian objects, and protect them from the effects of military operations. This includes protecting water technicians, water networks and electrical supply systems.








Related Posts

Netting the bullets


Netting the bulletsGaza fishermen are facing an impossible task to earn their livelihood as Israel allows them a mere three miles out at sea in the blockade that has crippled the strip completely.

Journey to Gaza


Journey to Gaza Gaza Strip, Palestinian Territories Ramattan News Agency correspondent in Gaza and the West Bank. This is my personal blog from the Occupied Territories Karl Schembri
Gaza City, Gaza Strip, Palestinian Territories
Ramattan News Agency correspondent in Gaza and the West Bank.
This is my personal blog from the Occupied Territories

Surviving under the rubble


Surviving under the rubbleGaza’s youth are vying to get out of their narrow besieged strip. Some want to escape; others want to return with their experience to help build their country. The wars, the blockade and the destruction are however shaping the younger generation that is totally cut off from the world.