EU completes Gaza’s biggest solar energy field to fuel desalination plantAugust 3, 2018
v The European Union announced on Thursday the completion of the biggest photovoltaic solar field in Gaza. It will provide 0.5 Megawatts of electricity per day to fuel the Southern Gaza Desalination Plant.
The EU-funded Southern Gaza Desalination Plant currently provides drinking water to 75,000 inhabitants in the Khan Younis and Rafah governorates. With the new energy field and new investments foreseen it will eventually reach 250,000 people in Southern Gaza by 2020, the Office of the EU Representative in Gaza said in a statement.
The EU is investing in long-term water infrastructure across Palestine with an emphasis on the Gaza Strip. In Gaza, 97 percent of the water is unfit for human consumption. The very high population density in Gaza is putting huge strain on the ailing infrastructure, which is crumbling as a result of repeated conflicts, over ten years of Israeli closure, and the intra-Palestinian split. This infrastructure strain has led to critical water insecurity in the Strip, the statement said.
It added that the EU budget mobilized between 2006 and 2017 alone was Euros 128 million. Euros 21 million has been allocated in 2018. The goal is to secure self-sufficient, equitable, affordable and sustainable access to energy, safe drinking water and sanitation services for all.
On 20 March 2018, the EU held a pledging conference in Brussels on the Gaza Central Desalination Plant & Associated Works Project. The conference, co-chaired by the EU and the Palestinian Authority, mobilized financial support of Euros 456 million to this biggest ever infrastructure project in the Gaza strip, which will provide a minimum of 55 million m3 of safe and clean drinking water per year. The EU pledged Euros 70 million for the desalination plant plus Euros 7.1 million for management costs.
Source: International Islamic News Agency