Source: United States Agency for International Development (USAID)

Date: 01 Dec 2010

Bani Na’im – On Wednesday, December 1, 2010, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and representatives of the Palestinian Authority (PA) together with other dignitaries celebrated the completion of the newly constructed Bani Na’im Water Reservoir.

The inauguration was attended by USAID Mission Director Michael T. Harvey, USAID’s Senior Deputy Assistant Administrator Christopher Crowley, Representatives of the Palestinian Water Authority (PWA), Governor of Hebron Kamel Hmeid, Mayor of Bani Nai’m Radwan Manasrah, ANERA’s Country Director Dr. Kenneth Lizzio and other dignitaries.

Through the funding provided by USAID through the Emergency Water and Sanitation and Other Infrastructure (EWAS II) Program, ANERA constructed a 500 cubic meters elevated water reservoir and installed 6,000 linear meters of pipes connecting an existing reservoir to the new one. The construction of the reservoir cost around $600,000 and helped create 1,100 days of employment. An estimated 15,000 people will benefit from this intervention.

Prior to the completion of the reservoir, Bani Na’im’s residents suffered from severe shortage of drinking water due to water scarcity and a lack of adequate water storage capacity. The existing reservoir’s capacity had become insufficient due to the town’s rapid population growth and expanding residential areas. Residents were forced to spend part of their income to purchase water provided by tankers, creating a heavy financial burden on the community. The construction of the new reservoir will help resolve the town’s water shortage problems, giving them much needed additional water storage capacity.

Since the beginning of the EWAS II Program, more than 105,000 people have gained access to a regular and affordable supply of potable water in the comfort of their own homes. Throughout these water projects, more than 70,000 linear meters of pipes have been laid, and it is anticipated that the rehabilitated water networks and reservoirs will deliver, on average, an additional amount of almost 14,500 cubic meters of water to these households annually.

USAID has provided more than $3.3 billion in U.S. economic assistance to Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza since 1994. USAID coordinates closely with the Palestinian Authority to support projects designed to reduce poverty, improve health and education, implement infrastructure and water projects, create jobs, and promote democracy and good governance. USAID’s EWAS II Program, implemented by ANERA, provides rapid response and emergency relief primarily in the water and sanitation sectors in order to address the basic infrastructure needs of the Palestinian people.