Clean Water Scarce amid Unsustainable Sanitary Conditions in Gaza – UNRWA

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

By Palestine Chronicle Staff  

Amid a scarcity of clean water, the UN Agency for Palestine Refugees, UNRWA, warns that sanitary conditions are unsustainable in the besieged Gaza Strip. 

Clean water is scarce in the besieged Gaza Strip, as solid waste accumulates and the spread of disease rises, the UN Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) has warned.  

“Sanitary conditions are unsustainable in the Gaza Strip,” the agency said on X on Sunday.

It added: “UNRWA shelters are severely overcrowded. Clean water is scarce. Solid waste is accumulating. Spread of diseases is on the rise.”

The agency stressed that “the situation is catastrophic, but UNRWA teams continue working to provide critical aid.”

In its latest Situation Report, dated February 26, UNRWA said “Nearly 1.5 million people are in Rafah, more than six times the population before 7 October.”

The agency said February saw “very little aid” coming in, with on average nearly 98 trucks entering per day, “a 50 percent reduction in supplies entering Gaza compared to January 2024.”

The number of trucks entering Gaza “remains well below the target of 500 per day, with significant difficulties bringing supplies in through both Karem Abu Salem (Kerem Shalom) and Rafah,” the report said.

UNRWA trucks have struggled to enter the Gaza Strip due to security constraints and temporary closures at both crossings.

The report stressed that UNRWA has at times had to temporarily stop discharging supplies due to security concerns.

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“Security to manage the crossing has been severely impacted due to the killing of several Palestinian policemen in Israeli airstrikes near the crossings recently.”

Close to 30,000 Killed

Currently on trial before the International Court of Justice for genocide against Palestinians, Israel has been waging a devastating war on Gaza since October 7. 

According to Gaza’s Ministry of Health, 29,782 Palestinians have been killed, and 70,043 wounded in Israel’s ongoing genocide in Gaza starting on October 7.

Moreover, at least 7,000 people are unaccounted for, presumed dead under the rubble of their homes throughout the Strip. 

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

The Israeli aggression has also resulted in the forceful displacement of nearly two million people from all over the Gaza Strip, with the vast majority of the displaced forced into the densely crowded southern city of Rafah near the border with Egypt – in what has become Palestine’s largest mass exodus since the 1948 Nakba. 

Israel says that 1,200 soldiers and civilians were killed during the Al-Aqsa Flood Operation on October 7. 

(Palestine Chronicle) 

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