GAZA, Friday, June 14, 2019 (WAFA) – The Palestinian Minister of Local Government Majdi al-Saleh and representatives of the European Union, France and the World Bank inaugurated on Wednesday the Al-Fukhari (Sofa) sanitary landfill site near the city of Khan Younis in the Gaza Strip.

This strategic infrastructure project is the second largest landfill in the Gaza Strip. It will benefit almost half of Gaza population and will have major positive environmental implications there.

The works at Al-Fukhari (Sofa) sanitary landfill were part of the Gaza Solid Waste Management Project (GSWMP) and were funded by the European Union (EU), the French Development Agency (AFD), and the World Bank.

The project will serve the southern region of Gaza which covers 64% of Gaza Strip’s total geographic area and is inhabited by 834,000 people who form 46% of its total population. The works at site started in 2016 and were carried by a consortium of local and international construction companies at a cost of 9.4 million Euros.

At the inauguration event, the EU Representative Ralph Tarraf said: “Since more than a decade, Gaza is facing unbearable exceptional challenges. Despite all the obstacles, we will continue to support the Palestinian Authority in various sectors in Gaza: from providing clean water to solid waste management, business development, and strengthening of civil society. These projects give hope in the midst of a bleak reality which has to end.”

The landfill covers in this first phase an area of 100 dunum and will eventually reach 235 dunum under PA full ownership, at the final stage. The construction works, which included major excavation, lining systems, leachate collection systems, storm water management system and the related services, were implemented over a period of two years in accordance with the highest international standards.

The Gaza Solid Waste Management Project (GSWMP) also included a system of solid waste transfer stations and a comprehensive capacity building program aiming to improve service provision at the different stages of solid waste management. The project ensured active involvement of local communities through a broad public outreach and public awareness and consultation activities.