Caritas Jerusalem: West Bank Needs Clean Water

Sewage Damaging Farmland

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JALBUN, West Bank, DEC. 8, 2009 ( A village and surrounding settlements in the West Bank have been inundated with sewage and have little opportunity for clean water.

A statement sent by Caritas Jerusalem detailed the problems suffered by the some 2,500 residents of Jalbun. Because it is low-lying and adjacent to a cow farm, and because of the rerouting of sewage caused by the separation wall, Jalbun has seen sewage flooding.

Samir Abu Al-Roub, chairman of the Jablun local council, noted the grim prospects for agriculture since the farmland has absorbed the sewage chemicals.

Moreover, Jalbun is not connected to the water network, meaning that residents need to buy water when it is delivered on trucks.

One resident, Jamal Abu Al-Rob, lamented, «I can not afford to buy water for 45 sheep and my family. This is too much.»

According to the statement sent by Caritas Jerusalem, Palestinians go without water for days or months at a time.

«Residents of most West Bank villages only receive running water once a week and some have not received running water in months. This problem of water shortage is not only a health hazard but a social and agricultural challenge,» said Nader Al- Khateeb, general director of the Water and Environment Development Organization.

According to Palestinian officials, Israel controls about 50 West Bank wells, which are directed to about 250,000 people. Palestinians control about 200 wells, but with them, need water for some 2.5 million people.

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