Friday, 8 October 2010

End Water Poverty members to speak at public meeting in parliament on water in Palestine

End Water Poverty member organisations Action Against Hunger and Interpal will join Amnesty International and Lord Hylton in raising awareness of the water crisis in the Occupied Palestinian Territories next week. The meeting is in Committee Room 9 at the House of Commons between 10 and 12am, and is open to all.

Water supply and sanitation for Palestinians are constantly deteriorating. Israel controls the aquifers supplying the region, and the assault on the Gaza Strip entitled ‘Operation Cast Lead’ in 2009 / 09 devastated infrastructure, including vital water treatment plants, forcing Gazans to survive on contaminated water. Nearly 93% of the available water in the Gaza Strip does not meet World Health Organisation (WHO) standards, and the annual average water consumption in Palestine is around 50% of recommended minimum standards.

Dependence on polluted water carries obvious health risks, and nearly a third of Palestinians are not connected to water networks at all. Furthermore, the price of water supplied by private tankers has rocketed in the region, leaving many destitute families forced to choose between water and food.

Four speakers will give presentations on their work on these issues:

Lord Hylton
Lord Hylton travelled to Gaza in August and observed the water crisis there first hand. He will talk about his experiences.

Deborah Hyams: Campaigner on Israel / OPT / PA, Amnesty International
Amnesty International is a global movement of 2.8 million supporters, members and activists in more than 150 countries and territories who campaign to end grave abuses of human rights. Deborah will present the AI report ‘Troubled Waters - Palestinians Denied Fair Access to Water’, and talk about the organisation’s campaign on the right to water in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

Dr Sandra Mutuma: Senior Nutrition Advisor, Action Against Hunger
Recognised as a leader in the fight against acute malnutrition, Action Against Hunger works in over 40 countries worldwide in emergency situations of conflict, natural disaster, and chronic food insecurity, benefiting five million people each year. Sandra will talk about the relationship between water and malnutrition.

Ibrahim Hewitt: Chairman, Interpal
Interpal is a British charity working to provide aid and relief to Palestinians. A member of the End Water Poverty group, its projects include the supply of fresh, clean water to residents of the Gaza Strip. Ibrahim visited the projects in August.

Everyone is welcome at this event, which promises to be interesting and a great networking opportunity. If you’d like to attend the meeting, please register with:

Katy Taylor-Gooby
0207 630 9778