Saturday, March 26, 2011

Jordan Vally Blues

This is a documentary by an organization called Life Source, which monitors water distribution in the West Bank.

Did you know that Israeli settlers get 73 times more water per person than Palestinians in the West Bank? Al Aqaba, mentioned below, hasn't received permission from the Israeli government to build a pipe system, so it has to buy its water from Israel. I'll be taking some short showers.

Jordan Valley Blues

Water is a Life Source: The View from the West Bank by Nicky Elliot
A few miles south of where we catch our breath, the situation for farmers is even worse. Residents of the Jordan Valley once labelled the ‘vegetable basket’ of Palestine, have to contend with serious and increasing obstacles to water access. In many villages, such as Al Aqaba, there is no pipe system to serve the residents or the agriculture they rely on. In order to have such an extravagant infrastructure as running water the residents must apply for permits: permission is regularly denied without reason. Instead of piped water, they must buy tanks of water from the Israeli company Merkolat at inflated prices (as well as paying a high fee to transport the water). Agriculture then, is a costly business to get into in the Jordan Valley. Meanwhile, nearby settlements thrive (and where business is tough massive government subsidies ease financial concerns) and when the summer months roll in the residents will enjoy well-watered lawns and swimming pools.