Gaza's Water and Sanitation Crisis

The Implications for Public Health

Published in: The Crisis of the Gaza Strip: A Way Out (Tel Aviv, Institute for Security Studies, 2018), pages [85]-101

Posted on RAND.org on February 14, 2018

by Shira Efron, Jordan R. Fischbach, Giulia Giordano

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This article examines the implications of Gaza's water crisis for public health. The Strip's water problems are inseparable from its energy woes; this linkage is addressed in greater detail elsewhere in this collection. The article first reviews the general factors that have worsened Gaza's water crisis recently; this is followed by an overview of the current domestic water supply and state of water sanitation in Gaza. It then describes water-related risks to public health, particularly chemical and biological contamination, and explores the health risks that Gaza's water problems could pose for Israel and Egypt. Finally, the article suggests immediate steps that can be taken, even under current political constraints, to mitigate the water and sanitation crisis and reduce the likelihood of a significant public health disaster.

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