Children
 Palestine
Project #15351

Maia Project: Clean Water for Children in Gaza

by Middle East Children's Alliance
Vetted
One unit at the factory
One unit at the factory

With your support, the Maia Project continues to grow and provide safe, clean water to children in Gaza.

We'd like to intoduce Amal Abu Moaliqe, our new Maia Project Coordinator. Amal is a mechatronics engineer living in Nuseirat Refugee Camp. She is excited to join the MECA team and work to improve the lives of children in Gaza.

This fall, under the supervision of Amal, provided routine maintenance for all the units at the start of the new school year and upgraded four of the water purification units. These four units have been providing safe, clean water for children for six years and continue to function but were not as efficient as possible and required frequent maintenance. The AbdelSalam Yasin Company in Gaza replaced some parts and then returned the units to schools in Gaza.

Installing the upgraded units
Installing the upgraded units
Children gather around the upgraded unit
Children gather around the upgraded unit
Amal, our new Maia Project Coordinator
Amal, our new Maia Project Coordinator
Israel
Israel's siege on Gaza impacts water & sanitation

MECA staff in Gaza continue to ensure that children have access to safe, clean water through the installation of water purification units at schools and kindergartens.

While we continue our efforts to build and maintain these water purification units, we believe it's vital to address the root causes of Gaza's water crisis.

As the Gaza blockade enters its tenth year in June 2016, Gaza keeps Thirsting for Justice. Join a campaign launched by MECA and other international and Palestinian organizations to demand that the blockade is lifted, and the items needed to recover and develop the wrecked water and sanitation sector stop being held hostage of Israel’s siege and its related policies.

As part of its blockade on Gaza, Israel imposes severe restrictions on the entry into the Strip of what it classifies as “dual-use” materials. Those include 70 percent of the items urgently needed to recover, maintain and develop the water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) sector. By obstructing the import of such vital materials, the Israeli government has crippled the Strip’s ability to treat sewage or maintain a functioning water network. As a direct result of this, Gaza’s only source of fresh water, the Coastal Aquifer, is almost totally unfit for human consumption with high level of nitrates and chlorides. We need to take action, and we need to do it now.

Please click the link below to sign a letter to your representatives urging Israel to lift the blockade immediately, and remove WASH materials from the dual-use list.

Student near Rafah drinks clean water
Student near Rafah drinks clean water
Ajial Kindergarten
Ajial Kindergarten's new water unit works well!

Links:

Preschool boys drink clean water
Preschool boys drink clean water

With your support, MECA continues to maintain water purification and desalination units in Gaza that serve more than 70,000 children. 

We wanted to share with you recent photos of just a few of these children!

We also wanted to share this message from women in Gaza to women in Flint, Michigan. MECA's staff are among the writers and signatories of this statement. 

"Dearest Women in Flint,

On International Women’s Day, we, the Palestinian women living under Israeli occupation, announce our solidarity and extend our compassion to you. We understand what you are going through because we face similar hardships in Gaza.

Access to clean and healthy water is a basic right according to international law and agreements. But many people are still fighting to achieve this right. For example, we are living in the Gaza Strip and are suffering a lot and struggling to get clean and healthy water. The Israeli occupation steals our water from the aquifers, controls our water resources, and does not allow us to access the clean water in the West Bank or to build water treatment facilities. Sea water, waste water, and other pollutants contaminate our water leading to sickness and death. This forces us to choose to buy clean water at unaffordable prices or to provide other basic necessities for our families. We know you face these impossible choices too." 

(See link below to read the rest of the letter) 

Shuka Girls School near Rafah
Shuka Girls School near Rafah

Links:

A child at Ajial Kindergarten drinks clean water
A child at Ajial Kindergarten drinks clean water

We are thrilled to announce that thanks to the donations of many individuals and solidarity groups, we were able to purchase and install 6 new water purification units this fall which provide 4277 children with clean, safe water. 

Three of the units were installed in UN schools in refugee camps and three were installed in preschool/kindergartens serving some of the most marginalized areas in the occupied Gaza Strip. 

We faced long delays due to the Israeli siege of Gaza that prevents the import and export of vital goods. But finally the last part for the units arrived in Gaza and now all six units are working!

We are also completing work at two kindergartens in Beit Hanoun and Khuza'a villages where irregular power outages and currents have prevented our water purficiation units from working. 

Students say thanks for clean water!
Students say thanks for clean water!
A clean glass of water!
A clean glass of water!
Safaa tests water at school in Nuseirat, Gaza
Safaa tests water at school in Nuseirat, Gaza

We are preparing to build four new water purification units and make repairs and maintenance on many other units during the summer months. We'll have more updates soon!

But even when there isn't big news on this project, there is a lot of work happening behind the scenes. Safaa El-Derawi, our staff water engineer and Gaza Projects Assistant is always hard at work. She makes regular visits to the 65 schools and preschools/kindergartens across the Gaza Strip where MECA has installed water purification and desalination units. During her visits, she inspects the faucets, pipes, and then checks the water quality. We are committed to protecting the health and future of children in Gaza and these water tests are one of the many ways we put this belief into practice.

 

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Organization Information

Middle East Children's Alliance

Location: Berkeley, CA - USA
Website: http:/​/​www.mecaforpeace.org
Project Leader:
Mona El-Farra
Director of Gaza Projects
Berkeley, CA United States
$47,424 raised of $70,000 goal
 
1,177 donations
$22,576 to go
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