Water for Life,
Water for Peace
Since to 2003 is in Palestine the natural scarcity of water
resources in the Jordan river basin is complicated by the
permanent political crisis.
Due to security restrictions enforced by Israel, people
and water tanks cannot move freely. Almost 15% of Palestinians
do not have adequate water supply. 10% have less
than 30 l. p.c. per day. In 30 villages, the available
p.c. amount is 10 l. per day. 85% of communities have no
adequate sanitation. In some cases, water prices have trebled,
and some people spend 30% of their income on water.
Our actions to respond to this alarming situation include:
- The Water for Life Campaign, which brings together 650
village councils. On a monthly basis, they provide information
which is made available in a public database (details can
be found at www.phg.org), in order to empower people and
enable their participation in the management of water resources.
- Construction of rainfall harvesting systems - 1,000 were
constructed last year, with a capacity of 70 m3 each; 30
ponds were constructed for agricultural purposes, each with
a capacity of 240 m3.
- Improvement of sanitation, especially in rural areas,
through biological treatment systems. Four treatment units
were provided in different parts of the West Bank.
- Public awareness and water conservation. Water Conservation
Centers were created in Gaza and in the West Bank, where
people can learn about tools and ways to reduce water use.
- Rehabilitation of old water networks, springs and groundwater
wells. Some of these activities have been supported by region
Emilia Romagna and GVC, a NGO based in Bologna.
For sustainable solutions to be achieved, water should be
allocated equally. A change of perception is needed, we
should no longer speak of occupiers and the occupied. We
need to build bridges, not further separations or walls.
Effective and balanced water governance can be attained
by forming managing boards in each country, with the participation
of the public and of NGO's. Such boards can form a regional
board with the assistance of unbiased international agencies.
Only then can an ethical code of conduct and a water charter
be adopted. At the same time, appropriate enforcement mechanisms
should be put in place, to ensure that commitments are implemented.
Short, medium and long term plans should be drawn up, as
well as common strategies with clear targets and deadlines.
Other key issues are the affordability of water pricing,
effective awareness campaigns and appropriate technology.
Ayman Rabi- Palestine Hydrology
to water is not a privilege, its a right
Green Cross urges the international community
to take the initiative, to assume responsibility and to play
their part in the great human mission enshrined in the Millennium
Development Goals. People in villages, cities and towns, so
often the instigators of change, innovation and solidarity,
are absolutely central to this mission. Governments
including local governments must lead by example. Hence
the campaign for the Right to Water »
HUMAN ASPECTS OF THE GLOBAL ENVIRONMENT
The climate cannot be put in a cage or deposited in a bank.
Air is the freest element on this earth: it is everywhere.
It gets into every corner. The wind and rain are not constrained
by borders or obstacles. Climate is the most global thing
that exists: unless it is dealt with through a global framework,
all the citizens of the world will pay the price for its neglect
Road from a Fossil to a Sustainable Energy Economy:
The Strategy in Iceland
Iceland would be almost entirely free
from imported fossil fuel and its greenhouse gas emissions
would be reduced to below 50% of the present level
Jordan River Basin
The precious waters of the Jordan basin
are growing ever scarcer, and as populations increase so will
the pressure on and competition for this water. Multilateral
management plans and agreements are urgently needed to secure
a viable future for all people in the basin and avoid the »
re-emergence of conflicts over water
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