Gaza water too contaminated to drink, say charities (BBC) British Broadcasting Company) 14 June 2012 Last updated at 00:57 GMT)
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Gaza´s only fresh source of water is too dangerous to drink because
of contamination by fertiliser and human waste, a new report says.
The charities Save the Children and Medical Aid for Palestinians say
the number of children being treated for diarrhoea has doubled in
They say Israel´s five-year blockade of the territory is preventing
crucial sanitation equipment from getting in.
The blockade must be lifted "in its entirety", they say.
The report, Gaza´s Children: Falling Behind, says that high levels of
nitrates and other contaminants have been found in the main water
Nitrates, found in faeces and fertiliser, are linked to the doubling
of the incidence of watery diarrhoea in children since the blockade
began, it says.
As well as the blockade, it blames war damage and chronic
Desperate families are turning to private water sources - without
realising that this water too is contaminated, often at 10 times the
safe level, the report says.
And Gaza´s sewage system is "completely broken".
Israel insists that the blockade of Gaza has been eased considerably
in recent months, says the BBC´s Wyre Davies in Jerusalem.
It says more supplies and building materials to help reconstruction
of the territory´s battered infrastructure are being allowed in.
But the report says this is not enough.
"As a matter of urgent priority for the health and well-being of
Gaza´s children, Israel must lift the blockade in its entirety to
enable the free movement of people and goods in and out of Gaza," it
It also calls on the international community, the Palestinian
Authority and aid donors to do more. (© BBC MMXII 06/14/12)
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