‘Access to Clean Water in Gaza is a Matter of Life and Death’ – UNRWA

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Two displaced Palestinian children fetching water in Rafah. (Photo: Mahmoud Ajjour, The Palestine Chronicle)

By Palestine Chronicle Staff  

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) has stressed that in Gaza, “access to clean water is a matter of life and death.”

“In Gaza, every day is a struggle to find bread and water. Every day is a struggle to survive,” it said on X, on Wednesday. 

The agency warned that ‘Without safe water, many more people will die from deprivation and disease.’

In November, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) warned that if access to water and sanitation in Gaza continues to be restricted and insufficient, the world “will see a tragic – yet entirely avoidable – surge in the number of children dying.” 

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UNICEF spokesperson James Elder said the minimum amount of water per person per day – be it in war or famine-like conditions – is 15 liters. That is, to drink, clean, and cook, are all critical to prevent waterborne and other infectious diseases.

“And yet there are parts of Gaza, particularly the north, …where people struggle to access as little as three liters per day. On the same day, none at all.”

In this pictorial feature, the Palestine Chronicle documents the daily struggle for water in the besieged enclave. We joined a group of children in a displacement center in Rafah. They are either on their own or with older members of their families, with the hope of fetching some water, highly salinated water, of course, occasionally arriving in small trucks.

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According to Gaza’s Ministry of Health, 27,019 Palestinians have been killed, and 66,139 wounded in Israel’s ongoing genocide in Gaza starting on October 7.

Palestinian and international estimates say that the majority of those killed and wounded are women and children.

Over 85 percent of the Gaza population has been internally displaced, some multiple times, according to UNRWA.

 (The Palestine Chronicle)



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