West Bank: Water Restored to Thousands
WEST BANK, PALESTINIAN TERRITORIES—In response to severe water shortages in the southern West Bank, international humanitarian organization Action Against Hunger | ACF International has improved access to water and sanitation for over 12,500 people in some of the places hardest hit by the 2009 drought.
The organization announced today the successful completion of community-based water and sanitation programs carried out in areas that saw the price of water rise dramatically and its availability decrease. Action Against Hunger estimates that some 20,000 people experienced decreased water availability as a result of unusually low rainfall last year. Communities without access to the public water network were most affected. Action Against Hunger, in collaboration with the Rural Center for Sustainable Development (RCSD), and with funding from the Humanitarian Aid Department of the European Commission (ECHO):
- Constructed and rehabilitated pipelines and water points in the communities of Masafer Bani Naim and Adb Dhahriya, providing 5,000 people with access to safe water;
- Built and rehabilitated cisterns for 2,000 people to collect rainwater;
- Increased water access for more than 5,500 pastoralists and their animals to help protect livelihoods;
- Conducted educational sessions for more than 4,300 woman and students on efficient water usage and safe sanitation and hygiene practices;
- Provided training for engineers and technicians from six municipalities on water management, maintenance, and system design; and
- Improved sanitation facilities and built shelters for 144 vulnerable Bedouin families living in remote areas to help protect against the harsh climate and decrease environmental health risks.
“We are committed to finding sustainable solutions to respond to humanitarian challenges facing communities in the West Bank,” said Mohamed Amayreh, an Action Against Hunger representative. “Our water and sanitation programs form an integral part of our strategy to mitigate the socio-economic impact of the drought and improve lives in this region.”