Laila el-Haddad has a great post on her blog about the collapse of the dam holding back a sewage lagoon in northern Gaza, which sent a flood of human excrement surging into nearby communities. The flood killed two toddlers, two elderly women, and one other person.
- It was bound to happen. All of the major humanitarian organizations issued endless reports and warnings about its imminent flooding. But even if the funding was available, the permission to expand and renovate the facility was not granted by the necessary “Authorities” who built it (on a major acquifer) in the first place.
I’m referring to the collapse and flooding of Gaza’s northern sewage treatment facility, known locally as the “Death Swamps”, which you can see here on wikimapia…
“This was not only foretold, it happened twice before, in 1988 and 1993,” tells me human rights consultant, and friend, Darryl Li, who has worked for Israeli, Palestinian, and International HR groups. Darryl’s last trip was in August, to this very facility…
The facility stopped functioning entirely in the weeks after the power cutoff last year (when Israel bombed Gaza’s power plant), and later functioned at very low efficiency levels with generators. Water level consuquently rose dangerously high.
The embankments of the cesspool have also been the target of frequent Israeli shelling, threatening their integrity, says Li.
She also quotes Li as saying:
- “This is life in a ‘disengaged’ Gaza: It is not enough to be locked into an open-air prison by Israel. Nor to be turned into a beggar by the international community for voting in a democratic election. Nor to be torn apart by internal feuding. Now Palestinians have to drown in their own shit? I can’t wait to hear the latest excuse about how this, too, is their own fault.”
Anyway, go read the whole thing.