Prime Minister Dr. Mohammad Ishtayyeh and the EU Representative Sven Kühn von Burgsdorff together with the Head of the Palestinian Water Authority, Tubas Governor, and representatives of the local community inaugurated Tayasir Waste Water Treatment Plant in Tubas and the adjacent European Forest. The plant serves around 57,000 people living in Tubas, Tayasir, and Aqaba. It also provides farmers with treated water for agricultural use in the Governorate that relies significantly on agriculture while the European Forest includes 1300 newly planted forest trees, becoming a green environmental space for the nearby communities.
The €22 million project consists of a Wastewater Treatment Plant, sewage collection network, and an irrigation scheme for the reuse of treated water. The plant has the capacity to treat 4,300 m³ daily, of which only 1,000 m³ are being treated now. The sewage collection network covers 53 km. The project also included the installation of an irrigation infrastructure with a pumping station, 2 steel reservoirs of 1,000 m³, and 4.3 km of distribution pipes.
This project contributes to a cleaner environment through wastewater treatment and to climate change adaptation through adding an additional water resource for irrigation using treated wastewater. By allowing the re-use of treated wastewater in agriculture, it will elevate the economic viability of agricultural land and improve economic prosperity while conserving the limited groundwater resources in Palestine. Furthermore, the current NEXUS project funded by EU and AFD will complement the energy requirements of the project by using reusable and clean energy.
“Access to safe, clean, and affordable water is a fundamental human right. Palestinians living in Tubas face many challenges, in particular in accessing water for personal and domestic use. This project marks an important milestone towards increasing Palestinians access to water in the governorate. Besides its positive impact on health and the environment, the treated water will help develop agricultural land.
This, in turn, will increase farmers’ income and contribute directly to the economic development in the governorate,” said the EU Representative, Sven Kühn von Burgsdorff at the inauguration ceremony. “Safeguarding water and the environment is key towards sustainable development and ensuring a better future for all Palestinians against the backdrop of climate change,” added the EU Representative.
In celebration of the European-Palestinian partnership and common values, the Prime Minister and the European Union Representative announced the establishment of the European Forest. In cooperation with the Ministry of Agriculture and the Palestinian Water Authority, 1,300 forest trees were planted so far. The forest will help raise awareness on water and environmental issues as well as notably on wastewater reuse. The forest covers an area of 21,000 m2 and will be irrigated with the treated water from the Plant.
The inauguration ceremony of the Tayasir Waste Water Treatment Plant and the European Forest is part of the EU effort in celebrating International Water Day and raising awareness on this year’s theme “Valuing Water”. The EU effort will include a series of educational and interactive activities for children in schools, theatrical performances, and a youth-led awareness-raising initiative cleaning Wadi Al-Bathan Natural Spring.
The EU proactively protects the water and environment in Palestine. Currently, the EU has ongoing projects totaling € 135 million in the water and sanitation sector, excluding the Gaza Central Desalination Plant Pledge.
In the West Bank, apart from Tubas, the EU is supporting the development of wastewater treatment plants in particular areas where water supply is scarce, such as Hebron and Nablus.
In Gaza, the EU is investing in large-scale solid waste management programs as well as in taking the lead in funding the Gaza Central Desalination Plant with an investment of up to €150 million over the coming 5 years, which will provide safe drinking water to around 2,000,000 Palestinians in the long term.