Date : 19/10/2010 Time : 18:45

JERUSALEM, October 19, 2010 (WAFA)- On Sunday 17 of October 2010, at Ministry of Planning, Mr Dov Zerah, CEO of the French Development Agency (AFD), Dr Ali Jarbawi, Minister of Planning and Administration Development (MOPAD) and Mr Frederic Desagneaux, French Consul General in Jerusalem, signed a new financial agreement in presence of Dr. Shaddad Attili, Minister of Water.

This financial agreement for an amount of 4 million Euros grant to the Palestinian Authority is dedicated to the construction of a regional wastewater treatment plant in North Gaza

The Beit Lahia wastewater treatment plant receives wastewater from the 250,000 inhabitants of the municipalities of Jabalia, Beit Lahia, Beit Hanoun and Um Al Nasser. The plant today operates at over four times its nominal capacity. In 2005, AFD, the World Bank, Belgian and Swedish Development & Cooperation and the European Union mobilized USD 46 million of financing, at the request of the Palestinian Authority, for the implementation of a two-phase project. The first phase provided for the construction of a pumping station in Beit Lahia and the implementation of infiltration basin to transfer the sewage to the new site at East of Jabalia to avoid any new flooding of the surrounding areas of Beit Lahia.

The second phase of the project aims to build a biological treatment plant in Jabalia with a capacity of 35,600 m3/day. This plant is expected to meet all the needs of the North Gaza by 2015. An agricultural system will also be set up to recover and reuse the treated wastewater. The construction started early September and is running after time to complete works in less than 3 years to avoid any important damage of the groundwater resources.

With this 4 million Euros grant, additional to the 12 million Euros provided in 2005, AFD will be the main contributor of the second phase.