The devastation resulting from the collapse of the pond Sheikh Ajlin in Gaza
Exclusive to Environment and Development Horizons:
Ibrahim Abu Medin (45 years old) a farmer from Sheikh Ajlin in Gaza stood bewildered on his land after the sewage flooded a large part of it. The only water well he depends on for irrigation was also contaminated. The water cistern that was used for drinking had also become contaminated and is no longer fit for human consumption.
Abu Miden owns five acres of land, he grows grapes and figs. Some of the crops were damaged, and the rest is being damaged gradually. He is looking at his land with pain, without possessesing something to stop the pollution of his land. "We have been informed that we will be compensated for the damage that has occurred. But it is our tired hands that will restore our land, we do not know when we can return to planting, which may be impossible because of the sewage water” Abu Miden said.
This is the second incident of its kind after the collapse of the old sewage basin.It collapsed ten years ago, which caused the occurrence of severe damage to crops in the region. Health and environmental disasters in the Gaza Strip increased due to the spread of sewage pools in population centers.The results are a prevalence in skin and respiratory diseases, as a result of the constant presence of insects ,mosquitoes and flies.
The Palestinian Ministry of Agriculture released a report of the occurrence of the disaster. The report said that citizens should be preventd from using and drinking the water in the Sheikh Ajlin west of Gaza City. The area consumes 3 million cubic meters, saying that what happened is a health and environmental disaster.
The Ministry has said in the same report that serious damage caused to the land and crops, especially grapes crop, which the region is famous for. In addition to damage to facilities and equipment. The Ministry has called on citizens to stay away from the risk of contamination caused by this disaster.
Hatem Sheikh Khalil, a spokesman for Gaza municipality stated that the collapsed water basin can accommodate up to 20 thousand cubic meters of wastewater, and it was under a process of maintenance by the Municipality. He stressed that the municipality and the Environment Ministry have formed a technical committee headed by the Ministry of Local Governance in order to determine the responsibilities, recommendations and the actions required to ensure that dangerous incidents will not be repeated.