The effluent is distressing residents of the West Bank settlement; Ramallah population growth and construction are apparently the cause; government says it’s working on a plan.
Elisha Ben Kimon|Published: 14.05.17

The mostly ultra-Orthodox residents of Modi’in Illit in the West Bank have recently been dealing with seemingly biblical plague of mosquitoes due to an effluent of sewage from Ramallah to the settlement.

Members of the Association of Cities for the Environment of Samaria, who have visited the Modi’in Stream over the last few days, have noticed accumulated sewage puddles near Modi’in Illit. The wastewater flows about 30 kilometers from the Palestinian city towards the cities of Modi’in and Modi’in Illit and is eventually drained into the Ayalon River.

Yitzhak Meir, the director general of the association, documented the polluted ponds. He explained: “As a result of population growth and massive construction in Ramallah, the absorption capacity of the land has been damaged, so throughout the river the soil doesn’t absorb the sewage, which reaches the central region. If this continues, it may soon reach the Ayalon area.”

“These are pools of sewage that attract mosquitoes, and the proximity of these ponds to children’s places of residence is critical,” said Meir. “Mosquitoes of all kinds can bite children and spread disease.”

The mayor of Modi’in Illit, Yaakov Gutterman, commented: “Because there is a large concentration of mosquitoes in various places in the city, I immediately called the environmental representatives in the Civil Administration who came to check and discovered the problem.”

The Civil Administration commented: “The administration is currently working towards establishing a sewage treatment plant in Beitunia, which will provide a solution and facilitate the flow of effluents in the stream. The facility plan has been approved by the planning committees.” They added that building permits have yet to be issued.

The Ministry of Environmental Protection commented: “In light of the importance of the issue and its effects on many residents, our ministry is currently formulating a national plan for the prevention and reduction of cross-border hazards and pollution.”

(Translated and edited by J. Herzog),7340,L-4962029,00.html