NOT A DROP TO DRINK
Gaza’s Dying of Thirst, and Its Water Crisis Will Become a Threat to Israel
With Gaza’s water system on the verge of “collapse” a humanitarian catastrophe looms, including potential epidemics. The consequences will reach far beyond Gaza’s borders.
by Sandy Tolan
GAZA – Mohammed Nimnim carries the water for his family. On a scorching late morning last summer, the 15-year-old pushed an old wheelchair piled high with empty plastic jugs through Gaza’s Shati (Beach) refugee camp. He rattled past modest groceries, makeshift tire shops, and graffiti praising Gaza’s martyrs, down broken concrete lanes, and toward the local mosque, where sputtering taps provide the family’s only source of drinking water.
No luck. Although it was 94 degrees and oppressively humid, the taps at the mosque were shut off. Mohammed turned around, empty-handed. He walked back under a pounding sun through the Beach Camp, a place whose very name taunts its residents. Barely 100 meters from the Mediterranean, the 87,000 refugees squeezed onto half a square kilometer here face a growing crisis of scarce and contaminated water.
Mohammed’s mom, Abeer Nimnim, paused to greet us as her son returned with the empty jugs. “May God give you health!” she exclaimed to her visitors. Then she got to the point: “It’s hot and suffocating!”
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