West Bank: connecting people with water in Bir El Basha
The West Bank village of Bir El Basha has finally joined the main water network. For the first time, 250 Palestinian households have running water all year round, revolutionizing the lives of 1,700 people.
Water shortages are a daily fact of life for the 250,000 Palestinians of the West Bank. Palestinian households account for ten per cent of the West Bank’s population, but many have no access to the main water supply system. Instead, they rely on rainwater and on water delivered by truck, which is expensive.
The village of Bir El Basha lies in the district of Jenin, in the north of the West Bank. People here used to wait days for water deliveries. Farmers were dependent on the rainy season, which lasts for a maximum of three months. Access to water, its consumption and its cost created tension between neighbours.
In December 2011, financial support from the ICRC enabled the Palestinian Water Authority to connect the village to the main water network. Now, 250 households have running water all year round and the lives of 1,700 people have been revolutionized.
In 2011, 775,000 people living in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip benefited from water and sanitation installations supported by the ICRC.