RAMALLAH, October 23 (JMCC) - Gaza's main source of freshwater, the underground aquifer, is dangerously polluted and will likely stop producing in the coming decade.
In the meantime, Gaza residents struggle to make do, purchasing clean water when they can for drinking and household use. The blog Mondoweiss publishes an account
of one family living in Shati refugee camp.
We visited the home of Haider Saed Abu-Jazya, a 51 year old carpenter and a father of 14 children whose family has a long miserable history with water. We have been suffering from water shortage and unfair distribution for 10 years. It’s only available for two days a week beginning at midnight only to run out again in the morning. Along with the problem of polluted insufficient supply another problem has emerged, salty water” said Haider who looks older than his age.
The tone of Haider’s voice tells us he is extremely worried about his family’s life. He is likely to pass on the misery he inherited from his refugee parents to his children. “Can you drink a cup of tea melted with three spoons of salt? Absolutely you cannot” he stresses. He describes how salty and polluted water negatively affects his family. For this, he is obliged to buy a 500-liter gallon supply of water which costs 15 NIS 4 US dollars a day. Sometimes he borrows from a neighbor or friend to pay for it, other times his friends have no money to offer.
Once, he ran out of water for two weeks in a row, so his wife couldn’t do the house chores like cooking, washing and laundering. Thus, they had to throw their dirty clothes away, which were not laundered for days and could not be used again.
How can a human being survive in such conditions?! How can not one be infected by diseases of salty water?
“The low quality of water causes allergies and red pimples arising on my children’s skin” his wife whispers.