With 43 Olympic swimming pools of sewage flowing from Gaza daily, local epidemic is only a matter of time
A Palestinian boy drinks water from public taps at the al-Shati refugee camp in Gaza city, March 7 2018. (Wissam Nassar/DPA)
Yaniv Kubovich, Haaretz, Oct 16, 2018
Illness caused by water pollution is a leading cause of child mortality in the Gaza Strip, says a study by the RAND Corporation, a copy of which was obtained by Haaretz.
The study shows that water pollution accounts for more than a quarter of illnesses in Gaza and that more than 12 percent of child deaths up until four years ago was linked to gastrointestinal disorders due to water pollution. Since that time these numbers have continued to grow.
The collapse of water infrastructure has led to a sharp rise in germs and viruses such as rotavirus, cholera and salmonella, the report says.
The data appear in a study by Dr. Shira Efron, a special adviser on Israel and policy researcher at RAND’s Center for Middle East Public Policy; Dr. Jordan Fishbach, co-director of the Water and Climate Resilience Center at RAND; and Dr. Melinda Moore, a senior physician, policy researcher and associate director of the Population Health Program at RAND.
The researchers based their study on previous cases in the world in which wars and instability created a water crisis and hurt infrastructure, such as in Iraq and Yemen, where mortality has been on the rise and other health problems have surfaced. In the period studied, they collected material from various officials in Gaza, the Palestinian Authority, Israel, Jordan and Egypt.
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