As sad as this is, (always is when one is wounded or killed) one has to wonder how is it that, the number one recipient of world aid can allow their infrastructure to become so archaic, as to allow the collapse of a major sewage septic system that aid organisations had long warned was dangerously overburdened.
Perhaps if they spent their money on sewage treatment facilities instead of on weapons, this tragic event might not have occured.
The deluge ended up submerging dozens of Palestinian homes underneath the surface of the foul smelling mess. Here is a related story.
Ironically, the unfortunate mishap in the Bedouin farming village of Umm al-Nasr , resembles the state of Palestinian affairs in general, with the Palestinians still suffering from a prior human waste disaster that they have yet to recover from. More here. *L* KGS
Update: 20:00 27/3/07 Death toll now stands at six, and surprise surprise, the PA blames Israel. More here.
Update: 13:00 28/3/07 A responsible report by an AP reporter.
- “Fadel Kawash, head of the Palestinian Water Authority, said the sewage level had risen in the reservoir in recent days. Shepard said the earthen embankments also had been weakened by rain.
But Gaza City Mayor Majid Abu Ramadan, who leads a council of Gaza municipalities, blamed the collapse on lawlessness in the Gaza Strip, accusing residents of stealing the dirt and selling it to building companies for $70 a truckload.
- A 2004 U.N. report warned that the sewage facility, built for a population of 50,000, was handling waste from 190,000 people, and flooding was inevitable. It warned that the lake created by the overflow from the seven basins posed a serious health hazard, providing a breeding ground for mosquitoes and waterborne diseases. Shepard said that since the report was published, international funding for a new plant had been secured but construction could not proceed because of security risks in the area.
- Umm Naser is about 300 yards from the border with Israel, in an area where Palestinians have frequently launched rockets into Israel and Israeli artillery and aircraft have fired back. The situation worsened after Hamas-linked militants captured an Israeli soldier last June in a cross-border raid, and Israel responded by invading northern Gaza.”