Dump site in Gaza city
The challenge of managing solid waste, in terms of household, medical, business (e.g. market places) and manufacturing waste, is a problem not directly linked to the December 2008 offensive, but one which has been made more difficult as a result of it. Damage to collection vehicles and lack of access to the landfill site has resulted in an additional burden on existing infrastructure, which has led to dumping of waste at unofficial sites, a build-up of waste at existing dumpsites and ad hoc burning of waste. While the quantity of waste generated and general waste practices remain similar to before the offensive, the conflict has led to further stress upon the systems that were already insufficiently resourced. This is resulting in and increased public health risk to the population as a result of public health practices. Further, the continued influx of people living in the IDP camps throughout the Gaza Strip has led to further stress on services.
The management of waste falls within the remit of the Municipal Councils, bodies which do not have the funding or equipment to fulfill this responsibility adequately. This effort is supplemented by INGOs and LNGOs, though these are few. SWM activities consist exclusively of waste collection from households, communal areas, market places and hospitals, transferring this waste to a central waste transfer station (in reality an unmanaged dumpsite in the city centre) and from there onto larger vehicles for transfer to the landfill.
Gary Morris – Iveson, produced a “mission report” after his visit in 2009. The report covers the solid waste sector in Gaza Strip. To download the report, click here