A lack of water is a daily problem for people living in the West Bank. Families in Bethlehem can get access to fresh water just once every 25 days, which highlights the importance of a new initiative by the Friends of the Holy Land (FHL) charity.
FHL launched a project to fund water tanks for Christian families in Bethlehem and, working in tandem with the Milan-based association Pro Terra Sancta, they have successfully put the tanks in place.
The water shortages are caused by the inefficiency of the distribution system and the management of the water network. As a result, families may receive water supplies for only two or three days in a fortnight – and this has dwindled to barely once a month during the coronavirus crisis.
Existing back-up water tanks on many roofs are old and rusted, particularly in older towns such as Bethlehem, and transported water is often contaminated. Over 40 per cent of children suffer from chronic diarrhoea and other diseases related to a lack of water and hygiene.
Working in partnership with Pro Terra Sancta and using local Christian tradesmen, FHL has installed 20 water tanks in homes in the Bethlehem area.
FHL said on its website: ‘We all know that access to clean water is a vital lifeline for everyone, and particularly during these challenging times of coronavirus when handwashing and hygiene are more important than ever, these water tanks are a vital way to make sure Christian families have regular access to clean water.’