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GAZA, PALESTINE, March 30, 2021 — Baitulmaal, a Dallas-based international humanitarian relief agency, recently completed another year of refills to 300 water tanks situated in various camps in the Gaza Strip that provide clean, potable water to the area’s residents.
Each tank provides access to free, clean water to approximately 50 individuals, or 7 families, throughout the year, for an estimated 15,000 total beneficiaries. Because the tanks are public and anyone in the area can access the tanks, this number may be higher, according to Elizabeth Sohail, program manager at Baitulmaal.
“Access to clean, safe water is a basic human right,” said Sohail. “These 300 donor-funded tanks provide water to people who would otherwise have to drink or wash with contaminated water, which makes so many people here sick.”
Baitulmaal operates the tanks in the following locations:
- North governorate: (Beit Hanoun, Jablia Camp, Abraj Al Nada)
- Gaza governorate: (Moghraqa, Al Zatoon)
- Middle governorate: (Al Brouk, Um Dhair, Al Maghazi camp, Al Sawarha, Al Zawiada, Wadi Al Salqa, Deir Al Balah camp, Al Buraij refugees, Al Nusierat camp, Joher Al Diek)
- Khanyounis governorate: (Nahr Al Bared)
- Rafah governorate: (the Swedish Village, Al Mawasi)
The tanks are refilled weekly, except during the summer when they are filled more frequently to keep up with higher demand.
Water access and quality has been an area of high concern in Gaza, leading the UN to project that it would be “uninhabitable” by 2020. This thin strip of land, blockaded by Israel and Egypt, continues to suffer a water crisis that threatens its 2 million inhabitants. Experts estimate that 98% of groundwater is unfit to drink — often contaminated by sewage or highly salinated by seawater — and only 10 percent of Gazans have access to safe drinking water, according to the UN.
Limited freshwater sources are often sold by unregulated private vendors at unaffordable costs to residents, further burdening impoverished families. For those who are able to buy water, UNICEF estimates that two-thirds of this water is already contaminated by the time it is delivered, putting families at greater risk of waterborne diseases either way.
According to the latest figures by the UN, most Gazans have insufficient access to basic needs such as food, clean water, electricity and healthcare, and 1 million now live under the poverty line.
Baitulmaal provides food, water, medicine, healthcare, and other aid to people in Palestine. If you would like to learn more or contribute to these programs at Baitulmaal, please visit their website at Baitulmaal.org.
Baitulmaal is an international humanitarian aid organization that provides life-saving, life-sustaining and life-enriching aid to people in need around the world. With headquarters in Dallas, Texas, the charity has offices in: Los Angeles, California; Chicago, Illinois; Detroit, Michigan; Nairobi, Kenya; Mogadishu, Somalia; Amman and Al Ramtha, Jordan; and Karachi, Pakistan.
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