Providing A New Water Plant For Al Shifa Hospital In Gaza
13 November 2015
A new water plant serving more than 200,000 people a year is to be built at Gaza’s largest hospital and medical centre thanks to the efforts of a Birmingham charity’s supporters.
Islamic Help launched a £300,000 appeal to provide a desalination plant delivering clean and safe drinking water to Al Shifa Hospital. It reached its target in just 3 months.
The Water For Gaza appeal followed the charity’s Gaza 100 Challenge when its supporters funded a new water plant at the community of Wadi as Salqa. That opened in Ramadan (June) 2015 and serves the daily domestic water needs of 9,000 people.
Gaza’s main water source is its aquifer (underground water table) which is accessed by wells. However, contamination by seawater from the Mediterranean has increased its salinity (salt in water) and sewage pumped into the sea means more than 90% of Gaza’s water is unsafe for human consumption.
Al Shifa Hospital relies on 2 wells for its water but salination has affected its use for drinking, health care, medical equipment and procedures. The new plant, due to be completed in mid-2016, will purify the water and pump it via a network of pipes to the hospital, ensuring it is safe and clean for human consumption.
Zaheer Khan, Islamic Help’s director of fundraising and communications, said: “We have heavy expectations on our shoulders when we take on a challenge like this but our donors and supporters have been immense. We would like to thank them for their support and look forward to the implementation of this project which will benefit so many. We will be showing our donors the results of their generosity when this plant is up and running by Ramadan next year.
“It is just one of the many initiatives we are carrying out to help provide clean water to communities across the world and would urge anyone who can support us in these efforts to do so.”
* The United Nations has presented an award to Islamic Help for its efforts in helping the Palestinian population during the 2014 Gaza conflict.
The plaque, from the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), recognises the work of Islamic Help in delivering enough emergency aid to benefit more than 1 million Palestinians during the crisis.
The two organisations worked in partnership as part of the humanitarian relief effort, which included an agreement signed at the UN headquarters in Washington to ensure the continuing delivery of emergency fuel to Gaza’s hospitals during the conflict.