The Heat is On!
Hot and sweaty! I have had no water for over 24 hours – my neighbours have filled large bottles to help me and this morning I am amazed at the amount of water I use for a single person – loo flushing, washing up, teeth brushing – why did I use all those cups!? – must be a couple of gallons already and I haven’t washed my hair!!
For a few hours I am experiencing what some Palestinians endure for 4 days at a time. So I am suitably humbled, for I can call my landlady and she can phone the water company to solve it. OK they haven’t come yet but eventually they will…..in Palestinian time!
A clip from Al Haq’s recent 53 page report ‘Water for One People Only’* states:
‘Israel has renderer any reasonable access and use of water resources in the OPT practically impossible for the occupied population.’
Thirsting for Justice Campaign found that: **
– The average Israeli daily consumption per capita (300 litres) is about 4 times the Palestinian average (70 litres) which is well below the 100 litres recommended by the World Health Organisation. The average daily water consumption in the UK is 150 litres per person.
– Israel controls the aquifers underneath the West Bank extracting close to 90 % of their yearly sustainable yield and forbidding Palestinian access to the Jordan River.
– Some Palestinian communities live with as little as 20 litres of water per person a day. This is barely enough water for their basic needs.
– Communities depending on tankered water pay up to 4 times more for every litre than those connected to the network, adding strain to their income.
– About half a million Israelis live in illegal settlements located beside thirsty Palestinian communities. They have unrestricted access to water, well-watered lawns and swimming pools
Coupled with that is the destruction by settlers and the Israeli army of wells and water cisterns.
Political Hot Air!
The heat is on as well for the next round of peace talks, apparently Al Quds newspaper doubt if they are going to take place. Where does this leave the Palestinians? Ziad the director of the Al Bireh municipality and one of my students, is really worried if they don’t happen because right now more building is authorised in the settlements and the ‘judaization’ of East Jerusalem proceeds apace. If there are no talks this could make way for the complete annexation of the West Bank.
Or will this be the igniting of the 3rd Intifada? Some think it will only take a spark to make this happen; in this place of uncertainty it is difficult to predict.
My water 30 hour ‘drought’, was evenutally solved, not by the water company, but by two neighbours – one a Professor at Al Quds university the other a lawyer – so if you can’t get a plumber call in the academia!