IMPROVING DRINKING WATER SAFETY IN GAZA

Project IMPROVING DRINKING WATER SAFETY IN GAZA
Objectives

• Help improve drinking water safety in Gaza. • Improve routine microbiological and chemical testing of drinking water in Gaza. • Provide capacity for routine microbiological and chemical testing of drinking water in Gaza during emergency.

Project Partners
Activities

MERCY Malaysia worked together with IDEALS UK and Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP) in conducting an assessment of the water quality monitoring in UNRWA and MoH PHL laboratories which have never been conducted before by other agencies. The team then procured and installed reliable, robust, portable water quality monitoring kits for UNRWA and PHL, thus enabling immediate eld-testing of water quality during emergencies. UNRWA and PHL laboratory and eld stas were also trained on how to use, maintain and repair the new equipment, as well as informed on additional threats to water safety (from heavy metals and pesticides in particular). This would ensure an extended operational life for the new equipment, and improve the identication of a wide range of threats to water quality and safety, ultimately benetting the people of Gaza.

Locations Gaza Strip, Palestine
Period 1st December 2015 – 31st May 2016
Accomplishments

• Provided an upgraded UNRWA and Public Health Laboratory (PHL) water quality monitoring laboratory. • Trained all relevant UNRWA and PHL laboratory and eld sta on the use, maintenance and repair of the new equipment as well as on additional threats to water safety.

BACKGROUND

Gaza consists of ve provinces and a population of 1.8 million, of whom 75% are refugees. The population is concentrated in seven towns, 10 villages and eight refugee camps, with a total area of only 360 sq. km. Although 98% of Gaza’s residents are connected to the water network, only 48% of households have running water four to seven days a week: while the remaining 52% rely on wells and water tankers which are all monitored by either UNRWA or the Ministry of Health (MoH) PHL. Together with inadequate disinfection of the piped water, this can lead to suitable conditions for microbiological contamination within the distribution network. High water loss from the network are ascribed to illegal connections and worn out pipe systems. Drinking water in Gaza is at signicant risk of microbiological and chemical contamination from numerous sources. Routine testing of drinking water quality is compromised by the limited capacity of the relevant UNRWA and PHL laboratories, and no testing is possible during escalations in the conøict, when the risk of contamination is greatest.

MERCY MALAYSIA’S EFFORTS/ ACTIVITIES

MERCY Malaysia worked together with IDEALS UK and Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP) in conducting an assessment of the water quality monitoring in UNRWA and MoH PHL laboratories which have never been conducted before by other agencies. The team then procured and installed reliable, robust, portable water quality monitoring kits for UNRWA and PHL, thus enabling immediate eld-testing of water quality during emergencies. UNRWA and PHL laboratory and eld stas were also trained on how to use, maintain and repair the new equipment, as well as informed on additional threats to water safety (from heavy metals and pesticides in particular). This would ensure an extended operational life for the new equipment, and improve the identication of a wide range of threats to water quality and safety, ultimately benetting the people of Gaza.