RVF is leading an international initiative with the support of a grant from the UAE Government to help address the water crisis in Gaza. Over 230,000 Gazan schoolchildren and their teachers will have access to safe water for drinking and handwashing. 125 UNRWA schools in Gaza will be equipped with desalination units and renewable electric power systems to provide drinking water and promote hygiene education.
Access to safe drinking water is a global public health priority. In the Gaza Strip, home to over 2 million people, there is an immediate need for potable water, especially in schools. While some schools currently have water filtration systems, the majority of schools lack safe drinking water and proper handwashing facilities.
RVF will implement the project in coordination with UNRWA, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine refugees in the Near East, and local water authorities. Installation and maintenance of the imported state-of-the-art desalination units will be localized in Gaza to strengthen on-the-ground capacity.
These low-volume desalination units can be set up quickly and provide immediate relief to the water crisis in Gaza. Each school will have its own desalination unit equipped with a solar power supply to avoid reliance on Gaza’s weak electric grid. RVF-led training of school staff and students to build good hygiene habits during the school day as well as at home will help prevent disease transmission, including COVID-19.
The project to provide safe water to schoolchildren in Gaza follows the UAE’s successful introduction of two essential children’s vaccines in Gaza and the West Bank implemented by RVF in partnership with the Palestinian Ministry of Health.