A delegation of US artists visited Gaza to bring worldwide attention to the water crisis in the besieged territory. The artists came to help the local community paint murals about drinking water a basic human right. The initiative is part of the Water Writes project of the Estria Foundation, which is creating a series of 10 collaborative mural projects in 10 cities across the globe in areas impacted by water rights issues.
The murals in Gaza are being painted at the sites of water treatment units, which have been installed at schools and kindergartens, as part of the Middle East Children’s Alliance (MECA) Maia project, which was launched in September 2009, to provide Palestinian children with clean drinking water. Other organizations involved in the Maia Mural Brigade project are the Break The Silence Mural and Arts Project and the Olympia-Rafah Solidarity Mural Project.
Water experts say that more than 90% of ground water in Gaza is not suitable for human consumption, adding that Palestinians get only a quarter of the water Israelis have access to. According to the Gaza Coastal Municipal Water Utility, Gaza will not have any fresh groundwater by 2015. Gazans consume more than 170 million liters from an aquifer which is the only source of groundwater in the strip.
The ongoing five year siege of Gaza has meant an increasingly long waiting list of spare parts and building materials. This directly has affected Gaza’s ability to maintain its sanitation and water treatment facilities.
Related web sites:
- Estria Foundation – Water Writes project
- Middle East Children’s Alliance (MECA) Maia project
- Facebook – Maia Mural Brigade
Source: Yousef al-Helou, Press TV [Iran], 11 Jul 2011