More than 90 percent of the Gaza Strip’s water is undrinkable. The rest is quickly running out. A combination of factors is rapidly depriving the population of this most basic of needs. RT investigated day-to-day life under these conditions.
Just one fresh water source exists today, according to the locals – a coastal aquifer beneath the ground that is shared with Israel and Egypt. But Gaza is situated downstream from Israel, and Palestinians accuse the Jewish state of using the situation to its advantage, employing water deprivation as a tactic against the civilian population.
The grim water statistics are part of a recent UN report on Gaza, which says the strip will become uninhabitable by 2020. A number of reasons compound the problems, according to the document by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).
The Gaza Strip’s GDP dropped 15 percent in 2014, with 72 percent of households suffering extremely low food security and unemployment at a record high of 44 percent. Further stress was added by relentless IDF assaults. With three military operations in the last six years, coupled with eight years of economic blockade, prospects for recovery are looking very bleak.
The UN says that 500,000 people have been displaced in Gaza as a result of last year’s IDF operation alone. More than 20,000 Palestinian homes were destroyed, and 148 schools and 15 hospitals and 45 primary health-care centers were severely damaged. Gaza is one of the most densely populated areas in the world.
But worse still is when the populace is deprived of the prime source of life – water. Without it, no reconstruction and no rebuilding of lives can take place. Medicine, sanitation, hygiene and crucial facilities that depend on water all suffer.
RT investigated the extent of the hardship under these conditions.
“We can’t drink it, cook with it, or wash in the kitchen with it… we are forced to buy all the clean water separately,” said Umm Ibrahim Amna Abdel’al, as she stood in her kitchen, little more four bare cement walls and a sink.
A delivery pickup truck trundled through the streets outside with a water tank sitting in the back.
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