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 Because of Israeli siege, fragments of Gaza border wall used to patch up water treatment plant

ICRC: fragments of Gaza border wall used to patch up water treatment plant

Date: 13 / 05 / 2009  Time:  11:58
Bethlehem - Ma’an -


Following the lead of Gazans and a new de facto government home building program the ICRC will repair and upgrade the water treatment center in Rafah with recycled cement from Gaza-war rubble and fragments of the Israeli border wall.

"It should not be this difficult to work on vital projects in Gaza," said Pierre Wettach, the ICRC's head of delegation for Israel and Palestine in a statement on the launch of the refurbishment and upgrade program.

The only way to fix up the Rafah plant is to recycle existing materials, said ICRC staff. According to a news release the repairs will use components manufactured within the Gaza Strip and underground water pipes for the reconstruction. “The shortage of cement has been overcome by salvaging concrete segments of the old Rafah border wall that lay abandoned after its partial demolition in January 2008,” the statement said.

When the project is completed the plant will treat 20,000 cubic meters of wastewater per

"It's a great challenge to carry out construction projects in the Gaza Strip, as building materials cannot be imported," said Marek Komarzynski, an ICRC engineer working in Gaza.

"Humanitarian organizations such as the ICRC are forced either to come up with alternative and creative ways of proceeding or to put essential projects on hold."

In the Gaza Strip, efforts to provide the population with even the most basic services, such as water and sanitation, are severely hampered by restrictions on imports of construction materials, fuel and electricity.

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