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Between five and ten percent of Palestinian households remain unconnected to the water network, creating a large dependency on water purchased from tanker trucks, which is less sanitary and can cost up to 400 percent more than piped water. The situation in the wastewater sector remains dire. Less than half of the Palestinian population of the West Bank is connected to a sewage network. Only 25-35 percent of wastewater created by Palestinians in the West Bank is collected, and less than three percent of the collected wastewater is treated. As a result, raw sewage continues to flow into dry riverbeds, contaminating underground aquifers and potentially spreading diseases.
USAID’s water and infrastructure programs are designed to try to meet these challenges. Since 1994, USAID has been one of the largest donors in the infrastructure sector. Programs are implemented at the community, municipal and national levels and range from small to large scale. Through its programs, USAID aims to increase and improve Palestinian access to public infrastructure and health, educational, and social services, increase road safety, and increase the availability of potable water. Projects include the construction and rehabilitation of water systems and distribution networks, sanitation systems, roads, clinics, schools and other community facilities. USAID is strengthening the Palestinian Water Authority’s capacity to better operate and maintain its growing water system through improving systems and providing training and hands-on technical assistance. This effort, together with the rehabilitation of old and leaking pipelines, will reduce water losses and improve the sustainable use of limited resources for a growing Palestinian population. Specifically, USAID supports the Palestinian Authority’s capacity to provide public services; improves the quality of life for Palestinians through infrastructure upgrades and administrative capacity improvements; develops professional skills of local Palestinian engineers and construction managers; and creates skilled and unskilled jobs for Palestinian workers.
USAID water and infrastructure projects include:
- Since 2000, USAID has paved and rehabilitated more than 863 kilometers of roads based on needs identified by the Palestinian Authority.
- Provided more than 90,000 temporary jobs for Palestinian workers on USAID infrastructure projects.
- USAID has upgraded water distribution networks and installed more than 866 kilometers of water pipelines to provide access to clean water to more than one million people.
Last updated: August 12, 2014