In war-scarred Gaza, water pollution behind health woes

High salinity, for example, can cause kidney stones and problems in the urinary tract.
– Safe levels far exceeded – In 2012 and again in 2015, the United Nations listed the threats that could render the enclave uninhabitable by 2020.
Israel says however that it is needed to keep Hamas from obtaining weapons or materials that could be used to produce them.
The level drops and seawater seeps in, raising salinity.
Sami Lubbad, in charge of environmental issues at the Gaza health ministry, says pollution is of two kinds, chemical and microbiological.
Chemical pollution is caused by pesticides but also, say experts, by the toxic remnants of ammunition fired during wars.
“Around two-thirds of Gazans buy their water in the private sector,” often in bottles sold for two shekels (around $0.53) per 16 liters, says June Kunugi, head of UNICEF in the Palestinian territories.
“Many children have parasites and worms and suffer from diarrhea and malnutrition,” said Kunugi.
At the edge of the Mediterranean, desalination of sea water is one potential solution.
In January, the largest desalination plant in Gaza partially opened with the help of international aid.

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