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Pollution cleanup aims to create the first nature reserve in Gaza

The United Nations Development Program supports a 10-year, $ 66 million effort to clean up the Gaza Valley Wetlands.

The winding road to the Gaza Valley is famous for the stink of pollution that chokes the flora and fauna that once flourished in the largest wetlands of the Palestinian enclave.


It is expected to change after the polluted habitat is declared to be Gaza’s first nature reserve.

“The valley will return to its beautiful natural state,” said Jaber Abhager, the mayor of the area known as Wadigaza, for locals to enjoy walking.

Raw sewerage, wastewater, and dirt in the valley due to garbage are the result of chronic underdevelopment of strips that have been blocked by Israel since 2007.

Gaza’s poor infrastructure is unable to manage the waste produced by its rapidly growing population of 2.3 million.

For more than 30 years, sewage was pumped directly into Wadigaza, some of which became a dumping ground for household waste and construction waste.

What used to be a “beautiful nature reserve” has gradually become “a swamp full of insects, snakes and bacteria, an uncontrollable garbage dump,” said Abdelfatta, an environmental expert at the University of Gaza Islam. Abdlab said.

Until last year, about 16,000 cubic meters of wastewater was pumped into the valley every day. Local governmentCauses various health problems for families living along the waterways that flow into the Mediterranean Sea.

Palestinian fishermen on the beach in Gaza on January 29, 2022

Palestinian fisherman on the beach in Gaza on January 29, 2022.

“Unfortunately, the political situation in which we live has destroyed the reserve and turned it into a wastewater wetland,” said local inhabitant Abdul Karim al-Lou.

He said he hopes to undo the damage and “clean up the areas of disease, water waste, insects and mosquitoes that all the inhabitants of Wadigaza are suffering from.”

‘Green belt’

With the opening of a new treatment facility in central Gaza last year, pumping of untreated wastewater into the valley has ceased, but full rehabilitation of Wadi Gaza is expected to take some time.

The United Nations Development Program is supporting a $ 66 million 10-year effort led by five local Gazan governments to make the region an oasis of urgently needed ecosystems.

Muhammad Abshaban, UNDP’s project coordinator, said the goal is to create a biodiversity-rich “greenbelt.”

Last year, when a new treatment plant was opened in central Gaza, pumping of untreated wastewater into the valley stopped, but wadi.

With the opening of a new treatment facility in central Gaza last year, pumping of untreated wastewater into the valley has ceased, but full rehabilitation of Wadi Gaza is expected to take some time.

Step 1 is cleaning, and last week city officials were at the scene trying to clean up a stream of filth.

The next step is a large-scale tree planting activity that precedes infrastructure improvements such as improved road access to make the area attractive to local tourists.

Abu Shaban said the Master Plan aims to solve “all environmental problems in the valley” such as pollution, intrusions, building violations and “floods”. valley I have been suffering for years. “

The Gaza population, which has endured a wave of devastating blockades and conflicts between Hamas and Israel, has few outdoor recreational spaces other than the coastline.

Israel and Egypt have tight control over access to Gaza, and foreign tourists are largely away.

Mayor Hajeer promised that Wadigaza would become a “cultural, sporting and tourist attraction” once the restoration project was completed.

Jerusalem

Map of the territory of Israel and Palestine.

“The water flowing through Wadi Gaza is clean and free of pollutants when it reaches the sea, so all residents benefit from this program,” said Abdullahim Abu al-Combos, Head of Solid Waste Management in Gaza. Will receive. ”

“Summer Gaza Beach is free from pollution coming from the Wadi Gaza area.”


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© 2022 AFP

Quote: Pollution Cleanup is the first nature reserve in Gaza acquired on February 10, 2022 from https: //phys.org/news/2022-02-pollution-clean-up-aims-gaza-nature.html (February 10, 2022) is intended to be created

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Pollution cleanup aims to create the first nature reserve in Gaza

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