Press release


    It is well known that the Gaza Strip suffers from a continuous and escalating crisis related to the inability of the electricity supply system in the Gaza Strip to cover various aspects of life, including the water and sanitation sector. In the past few years, the negative effects have increased rapidly, which may reach some degree of calamity due to the failure to operate the only power plant in Gaza on a regular and sufficient manner. That plant provides 137 megawatts, which only covers 30% of the electricity needs in the Gaza Strip. This resulted in the transition from crisis to disaster, because of the lack of sufficient fuel to operate the back-up generators in water and sanitation facilities, which operate outside the safe and technically recommended range of daily operating hours allowed, to cover the long hours of electricity cut that exceeds 16 hours of continued cut.

CMWU confirms that with the electricity crisis in the Gaza Strip that is getting worse, the hours of power cuts that are lasting for long periods, and the quantities of fuel needed to operate the water and sanitation facilities that are running out, especially after the end of the grant given by the OCHA organization, there is now a big negative impact on our ability to continue to provide the minimum required water and sanitation services for citizens in the governorates of the Gaza Strip. This will lead to major crises and repercussions affecting the lives of citizens directly, such as the water cuts for long periods up to a week and more in many areas. As well as the decreasing of the ability of CMWU and municipalities in the collection, pumping, and treatment of sewage, which will lead to the possibility of outbreaks of sewage, especially in low areas.

In light of the worsening crisis, we in CMWU stress the following:

1: The different facilities of the water and sanitation sector depend mainly on electrical power. Any imbalance in the electricity system directly affects the level of services provided. The total energy required to manage these facilities in the current situation is estimated at about 30 megawatts distributed throughout the Gaza Strip.

2: According to the current circumstances, and in order to maintain the acceptable level of water services, the needs of fuel are estimated at about 250 thousand liters per month, in addition to 150 thousand liters per month to cover the services of pumping and treatment of sewage, a total of 400 thousand liters per month.

3: Most of the other wells operate for about 8 hours with electricity and 6 hours with generators. This resulted in the loss of 40% of the natural capacity of the water production system, which negatively affected the average per capita water rate down to 60 liters per day instead of 90 liters Per capita per day.

4: The daily rate of water production during this current period of the year has dropped from 230 thousand cubic meters per day to 170 thousand cubic meters per day because of the electricity and fuel crisis, which the facilities of water production and pumping are suffering from, and a 70% drop of the capacity of desalination plants has been recorded.

5: Electricity cut for long hours and the inability to manage the back-up generators lead to the weakening of the wastewater treatment system, which requires constant supply of electricity to maintain the biological life necessary for an acceptable level of treatment. Current evidence has shown an increase in environmental and health risks for the population of the Gaza Strip.

6: the amount of untreated sewage water flowing to the sea has increased due to irregular operational reality with power cuts, reaching about 110 thousand cubic meters per day with high levels of sea water pollution. These high levels were monitored in the vicinity of the outlets on sea shore, which covered 73% of the Gaza Strip shoreline.

7: The irregularity of the biological treatment of wastewater has led to an increase in the organic load of treated and produced water, that increase was off the allowed limits in terms of environment and health, which reached about 150 to 200 BOD per liter.

8: The system of collecting and pumping sewage from different neighborhoods and cities has deteriorated significantly due to lack of electricity to manage the lifting pumps throughout the day, especially at peak times of flow and with the lack of fuel for the back-up generators. Therefore, a lot of living areas are now vulnerable to floods and environmental and health pollution due to wastewater flood in the low areas and their surroundings.

9: the continued electricity cuts will result in an actual crisis that will lead to a significant deterioration in the quality of basic services provided to citizens, as well as reducing the work of many water wells, water pumping stations, and desalination plants to their minimum capacity, causing an almost complete paralysis in the collection, pumping and treatment of wastewater, which threatens health and environmental problems that may be undesirable.

10: many areas in the Gaza Strip are vulnerable to sewage water floods, which can fill the homes of the citizens in case the sanitation services stop. This of course will threat the lives of thousands of people if the shortage of fuel needed to operate facilities continued, like what happened before in Rafah, Khan Younis, Gaza and the north.

Based on our responsibility towards the citizens of the Gaza Strip and in order to continue to provide our services to the fullest extent, we stress the need for joint efforts by national institutions, to figure out a fast and permanent solution for this renewed crisis, because of its environmental and health disasters.

CMWU appeals to all international humanitarian and relief organizations and UN institutions to intervene urgently to provide adequate quantities of fuel to ease the crisis of power cuts in the Gaza Strip and enable CMWU and municipalities to continue operating vital facilities and provide their services to citizens and supply them with the necessary quantities of water for all parts of life and prevent an imminent environmental and humanitarian disaster, God forbid.


The Gaza Strip – Palestine.

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