In a solution to the Gaza strip’s water crisis, a Georgian-Israeli billionaire proposed that he would deliver hundreds of generators to produce the chronic water supply in the water-deficient region. Michael Mirilashvili said that his company, Watergen, arranged a machine which he dispatched to a Gaza hospital in a rare case of Israeli-Palestinian cooperation in the Hamas-ruled region, last week, according to media reports.
Gaza’s long-standing water shortage dated back to 2007 when Hamas took over the Palestinian territory that led to Gaza's 2 million people to suffer a blockade by Israel and Egypt that deprived the strip of trade and travel. Over three civil wars and a 13-year lockdown destroyed homes, infrastructure, led to power failures and not to mention the contamination of the drinking water supply due to ongoing Hamas-Israel wars, media reports confirmed. Over 100,000 cubic meters (3.5 million cubic feet) of sewage remained contaminated due to electricity shortages that deprived the region of proper sewage treatment, according to UN estimates, as per the reports.
Therefore, with aquifer as the main source of potable water, Gaza, to date, has reportedly remained underprivileged to clean drinkable water as 97% of the area's water was polluted due to contamination with the seawater seep-in. In an interview with a news agency, Mirilashvili said that he would send some more generators to the strip“because they are our neighbours and it's a great pity to look at them suffering from such severe water shortages.” Machines roughly the size of a vending machine was installed on the roof of the Al-Rantisi Medical Center in Gaza City a day later, as per media reports.
According to reports, Mirilashvili’s Watergen technology was initially developed for military use in 2009, which he bought in 2017 shifting base to civilian markets. The company, therefore, began manufacturing the Watergen devices that ran on electricity and could be connected to solar panels due to electricity outage. These machines extract moisture from the air and convert it into 800 litres, or over 200 gallons drinking water in 24 hours. Mirilashvili was quoted saying that he received permission to transfer a first Watergen machine to Gaza after over a year from Israel''s military bureaucracy.
(With AP Inputs)
(Image Credit: AP)