New funding has been confirmed for operation support and maintenance of the North Gaza wastewater treatment plant. The World Bank announced new funding of $10 Million USD 10 June for four years, and is further supported with $3.7 Million USD from the Partnership for Infrastructure Development Multi-Donor Trust Fund.
Untreated effluent discharged by four municipalities has created a “lake” in the Gaza strip and has caused significant pollution in the coastal aquifer, which is the principal source of drinking water for over 400,000 people. Collected sewage has also been identified as the source of floods, injuries, and asset damage to the surrounding population. This new project is a continuation of the World Bank’s intervention in the wastewater sector, with a view to mitigating environmental health and safety throughout the Gaza strip, the multilateral lending agency said.
The new treatment plant aims to restore critical wastewater treatment services and provides a solution to effluent treatment, further aquifer degradation, and flood risk management. Operations and maintenance will be funded for four years, with rehabilitation of some necessary equipment and civil works. Technical assistance will also be provided to build capacity for sustainable operations of the facility. Responsibility for operations will gradually be transferred to the Coastal Municipalities Water Utility which will consolidate the operations of 25 much smaller Gaza utilities.
"The operation of the treatment plant will benefit an estimated population of 400,000 and open opportunities for productive use of treated effluent in the northern Gaza area. However, strengthening the governance and technical capacity of selected institutions to manage large wastewater facilities will benefit the entire population of Gaza and have a substantive longer impact, particularly in a conflict setting environment.” said Adnan Ghosheh, World Bank Senior Water Supply and Sanitation Specialist.