Wastewater treatment project in Gaza gets World Bank funds

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GAZA, Aug. 26, 2010 -- The World Bank Board of Directors approved today an additional financing grant of $7 million for the North Gaza Emergency Sewage Treatment (NGEST) project. The grant will support the construction of a new wastewater treatment plant under the second phase of the project and will provide a long term solution to the treatment of wastewater in the Northern Governorate of Gaza.

The project benefits a population of about 250,000 people living in the communities of Jabalya, Beit Lahiya, Beit Hanoun, and Um Al Nasser. The primary objective of the first phase of the project was to mitigate the immediate health and environmental safety threats to the communities surrounding the effluent lake at the old Beit Lahiya wastewater treatment plant that was first designed to serve a population of 50,000. The effluent lake has been drained and the wastewater is being managed at the new site pending completion of the new treatment plant.

"We are now moving towards achieving a much needed long-term solution," said Richard Pollard, Senior Water and Sanitation Specialist, "The construction of a modern wastewater treatment plant will provide advanced secondary treatment sufficient for water reuse for agriculture, as well as environmental remediation for the land at the Beit Lahiya site."

"This development project has a noteworthy impact," added Mariam Sherman, Country Director for West Bank and Gaza, "Eliminating the imminent threat of flooding due to severe overloading of the outdated Beit Lahyia wastewater treatment plant was a true success. However, adequate sanitation, treatment and disposal of wastewater, are basic services to which Gaza's population is entitled."

The project is a result of strong collaboration between the Palestinian Water Authority, the World Bank, Sweden, Belgium, France, the European Commission and the European Investment Bank. It is also supported by Quartet Representative, Tony Blair. Project implementation is conducted in close coordination with the Israeli Government.

The NGEST is the fourth in a series of water and sanitation projects supported by the World Bank, through the Trust Fund for Gaza and West Bank, since 1993. World Bank contribution to the project has totaled $26.8 million.

For more information on the World Bank's work in West Bank and Gaza, please visit www.worldbank.org/ps

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