Wadi Al-Salqa is a rural community located south of Deir al-Balah in the Middle Area Governorate, adjacent to the eastern borders (Access Restricted Area) of the Gaza Strip. More than half of the community has no access to any source of income and depends on external aids. People in this area have lack access to adequate and safe drinking water, 67.7% of HHs fill their tanks of drinking water from mobile vendors which generally doesn’t meet safe drinking water standards. The vendors come to area periodically and they consume time to respond for the families after their small tanks at their homes became empty. 25% of the families even don’t have potable water tanks, and 48.5% of them have difficulties to access drinking water whether because of the high cost, far distance of drinking water source (desalination plants) or sometimes the unavailability of local vendors. In addition to the water shortage problem, the wastewater flooding is considered as an additional burden on the shoulders of the community households. The public sewage network is not available for the majority (72.7%) of the community households, whereas most of HH whom the public sewage network is available, they are still not connected to it.
The aforementioned WASH challenges are gathered in an area that doesn’t exceed 6.5 square kilometres with 7031 inhabitants, 722 out of them are children less than 5 years, 512 out of them are older people, in addition to other numbers of vulnerable groups who are easily subjected to diseases as a result of the lack of WASH services and hygiene practices.
Cesvi has been working in partnership with ACTED, partner of Alliance2015 – thanks to the support of the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation (AICS) – in order to increase preparedness and protection from the hygiene risk at HH level and crisis response mechanisms in the Wadi Al Salqa village by strengthening the service delivery system provided by Community Based Organizations (CBOs).
In addition to the difficulties in the area, there are also Covid-19 pandemic-related issues, as Cesvi Foundation’s Head of Mission in Palestine explains: “The ongoing pandemic has complicated operations in Gaza, where it is already difficult to work on a daily basis. Ensuring access to clean water is essential and, thanks to our local staff, we have reached 150 beneficiaries providing them with filters and increasing access to health facilities in order to improve their quality of life and health. The global situation has once again underlined how hygiene is essential to ensure not only personal but also public health. Due to this project we have contributed to improving people’s livelihood.”
“We are very happy to have received these water filters, we finally feel that we are drinking safe water, as if it were the one in the supermarket bottles. It tastes good, it is transparent and it is not risky for our health“, say some satisfied community members.
See project results here.