The European Union, France, the World Bank, and the Palestinian Authority celebrated today the inauguration of Al-Fukhari (Sofa) sanitary landfill site near the city of Khan Younis. This strategic infrastructure project is the second largest landfill in the Gaza Strip. It will benefit almost half of Gaza population and will have major positive environmental implications there.
The EU Representative in Jerusalem Ralph Tarraf, the Consul General of France in Jerusalem Pierre Cochard, AFD Country Director Katherine Bonnaud, and Bjorn Philipp the Program Leader for Sustainable Development at the World Bank joined the Palestinian Minister of Local Governance Majdi Al-Saleh, the Director General of the Municipal Development and Lending Fund Tawfiq Budeiri, and officials from the Joint Service Council in Southern Gaza and representatives of the local communities to celebrate the completion of the construction works at Al-Fukhari (Sofa) sanitary landfill site.
The works at Al-Fukhari (Sofa) sanitary landfill were part of the Gaza Solid Waste Management Project (GSWMP) and were funded by the European Union (EU), the French Development Agency (AFD), and the World Bank. The project will serve the southern region of Gaza which covers 64% of Gaza Strip’s total geographic area and is inhabited by 834,000 people who form 46% of its total population. The works at site started in 2016 and were carried by a consortium of local and international construction companies at a cost of 9.4 million Euros.
At the inauguration event, the EU Representative Ralph Tarraf said: “Since more than a decade, Gaza is facing unbearable exceptional challenges. Despite all the obstacles, we will continue to support the Palestinian Authority in various sectors in Gaza: from providing clean water to solid waste management, business development, and strengthening of civil society. These projects give hope in the midst of a bleak reality which has to end. We believe that Gazans deserve a better future and definitely a better present. It is a time to bring about a fundamental change to the political, economic and security situation in Gaza. The Palestinian Authority to must resume its full responsibilities in Gaza.”
The landfill covers in this first phase an area of 100 dunum and will eventually reach 235 dunum under PA full ownership, at the final stage. The construction works, which included major excavation, lining systems, leachate collection systems, storm water management system and the related services, were implemented over a period of two years in accordance with the highest international standards.
The Gaza Solid Waste Management Project (GSWMP) also included a system of solid waste transfer stations and a comprehensive capacity building programme aiming to improve service provision at the different stages of solid waste management. The project ensured active involvement of local communities through a broad public outreach and public awareness and consultation activities.