Hope Through Water Harvesting in Palestine

Hope Through Water Harvesting in Palestine

With a new cistern built with Palestine-Westbank 2 program support, Hisham, a farmer in the West Bank, will be able to plant 55 new grape vines, increasing his overall production of vegetables, fruit trees and grapes by five times. Because the new cistern was built in the dry summer months, it has yet to be filled by next winter’s rains. However, Hisham has already prepared it with a system of pipes to capture rainwater from the roof of his modest two-room dwelling. 

This region suffers from an extreme scarcity of water due to conflict and climatic conditions. The program seeks to mitigate the problem by drilling cisterns to collect rainwater and by providing extension workshops on water source management for agricultural and domestic use. The average per capita water consumption is 64 liters (17 gallons) per day. About 30-40% of that goes to agriculture, industry, or is lost due to network leakage or theft. Therefore, the remaining amount for domestic use does not exceed 30 liters (8 gal) per person per day, significantly below the World Health Organization’s recommended minimum of 100 liters (26.5 gal) per day. 

Hisham used to live in the Old City of Hebron, where he raised his family of two girls and three boys. Two of his sons still live in that home, but 10 years ago, challenges in the area drove him to buy a plot of land in a nearby town. Because of its location, there are several risks and challenges for his land, but he is experiencing modest success in proving ownership. 

Hisham’s land is his primary source of income, and he is constantly seeking ways to improve his results. He eagerly shows an improvised drip irrigation system, consisting of plastic soda bottles partially buried next to each seedling, with holes poked in each bottle to slowly distribute water over the course of several days, instead of delivering it all at once and having much of it evaporate.

The Palestine-Westbank 2 program encompasses 10 communities, 62 households and 434 individuals.

12/17/2012 | Comments: 0 | Add Comment