started this petition to
population of 1.6 million Palestinians are without clean drinking water. The only source of water they can access—the
underground water aquifer—is being over-utilized and is now highly polluted
with sea water and sewage intrusion. The UN warns that unless a solution is
found to provide Gaza with safe and affordable water, Gaza’s aquifer will
become unusable by 2016, and
irreversibly damaged by 2020.
Today, only 5% of the water Palestinians in Gaza extract from the Coastal
aquifer is now safe to drink. Most
families in Gaza are forced to buy drinking water from private companies at
high cost, with some paying as much as a third of their income on water.
The portion of the Coastal aquifer running
beneath Gaza representsonly
a small percentage of the total freshwater resources available to Israelis and
Palestinians. Israel continues to exploit 90% of the available freshwater for
exclusive Israeli use – particularly the underground Mountain aquifer in the
occupied West Bank – while Palestinians have access to less than 10%. It does
so in violation of international water law, which calls for these resources to
be shared “equitably and reasonably” between Palestinians and Israelis.
There is a solution, and it starts with the implementation of Palestinian water
rights. If Palestinians have access
to their rightful share of the
available water resources, and if Israel lifts its blockade over the Gaza Strip, which restricts water
imports as well as the entry of materials and goods needed to upgrade and
repair its deteriorating water infrastructure, many of Gaza’s
water problems would be solved.
WHAT WE HAVE ACHIEVED?
On the occasion of World Water Day 2014, this
petition signed by over 12.784 people
worldwide including citizens of all EU member states, was delivered to Hannes Swoboda, the President
of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists & Democrats in the European
Parliament on 20 March 2014.
The petition was handed over by a representative
of EWASH, a group of 27 international and national NGOs as well as UN Agencies
seeking to improve water, sanitation and hygiene conditions in the occupied
Palestinian Territory. Hannes Swoboda, President of the S&D Group, accepted
the message and expressed his support for the initiative, noting that “access
to water and sanitation is a fundamental human right, which governments and
international institutions need to guarantee for everyone."
Please see picture gallery: http://www.thirstingforjustice.org/?page_id=1080&album=3&gallery=24#prettyPhoto[set_24]/0/
Please help us achieve 20.000 signatures so we can deliver even stronger
message to the decision makers in Europe!