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Thursday, December 1, 2011

Gaza faces 'waste crisis' due to ban on trucks

Published Wednesday 30/11/2011 (updated) 02/12/2011 02:16
Expired soft drinks are piled up after they were deemed unsafe for consumption,
in Qalqiliya in the northern West Bank (MaanImages/Khaleel Reash)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- An environmental researcher warned Wednesday that a waste crisis is worsening in the Gaza Strip, as imports of trucks are being prevented as part of Israel's siege.

Wael Safi said increases in population and a difficult economic situation was complicating efforts to collect waste, while Israel is preventing the import of vehicles and spare parts for trucks.

Speaking at a workshop organized by French officials on the waste problem in Gaza, Safi told Ma'an that recycling solid waste is expensive and the crisis will eventually affect the public's health.

“We are working on creating a central waste (center) in Gaza and improving waste collection” Safi said, and groups like the World Bank, and Islamic Development Bank as well as the EU were trying to help.

Another developing problem in Gaza continued Wednesday, as Israel refused to allow technicians to repair a main power line supplying the Gaza Strip, a spokesman for Gaza's electricity company said.

Jamal Dardasawi said the line has been down for 13 days, exacerbating the electricity crisis in the coastal enclave.

The Israeli government has not allowed technicians from the Israel Electric Company or from Gaza to repair the line, which usually provided 12 Megawatts of power, Dardasawi said.

Gaza's power company has been applying an emergency distribution program, disconnecting the power grids for eight hours every day.

Dardasawi noted that the problem coincided with threats by Israel's foreign ministry to cut off water and electricity to Gaza if Fatah and Hamas formed a unity government.

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