The Palestinian Authority is pushing forward a desalination plant project that will help provide freshwater to 1.6 million people in Gaza.
Water is a chronic problem in Gaza: A 2009 World Bank report said between 90 and 95 percent of water available in the area is unfit for human consumption.
France has already pledged €10 million ($13 million) for the €350 million project. And according to the office of French Prime Minister Francois Fillon, Gulf Arab States have also committed to financing 50 percent of the project. The European Union, meanwhile, is supporting the construction of a €10 million low-volume desalination plant in southern Gaza.
The project will run in two phases. The construction of a main water pipe and subsidiary network across the Gaza Strip worth €110 million will commence in 2014 and is expected to be completed in 2017. A desalination plant that will be able to produce 55 million cubic meters of drinking water from seawater annually will also be built during the same period. This is estimated to cost €180 million.
Additional capacity will be introduced to the desalination plant during the second phase, which is between 2017 and 2020, when annual yield is projected to reach 100 million cubic meters.
Tendering for the project will take place next year, according to the Palestinian Authority and the Union for the Mediterranean.
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