Zeta, Qarawat Bani Hassan
We went there to take photos of the agricultural crops which cry out for water, ahead of the water protest event scheduled for Friday.
09:40 Arrival at the council of the village of Quarawat Bani Hassan.
The Head of the Council, A., told us that despite of the high regard he has for the water coalition he, in consultation with the members of the Council, decided for their own reasons not to hold the event, since the amount of water which would be supplied won’t solve the problem and could create inter-communities issues over the control of the water's distribution.
The water problem exists during the hot months, more or less between April and October.
We asked the head of the village what the situation today was and he explained that after Amira Hass’s report in Ha’aretz newspaper the amount of water supplied has been increased to 110 cubic meters per hour. A fortnight later the amount was decreased to 50 cubic meters per hour. Such a low amount necessitates buying water, transported by a tanker truck, which raises the price tenfold. One cubic meter from the pipe costs 3 NIS, while water bought from a tanker costs 35 NIS per cubic meter.
The head of the Council explained to us that the water distribution from the Mekorot pipe supplies three villages: Quarawat Bani Hassan, which has 6000 inhabitants, Bidiya – 12.000, and Sarta with 3000. The distribution is of course proportional to the number of inhabitants.
A village which is located on an elevated site constitutes an additional difficulty for the water supply, and they have lately bought a pump which does not cover all the needs but improves the situation to a certain extent. There is a plan to buy an enormous tank in which they could hoard water for times of need. This will perhaps be carried out by donations from the villagers.
11:00 on our way to Zeita
At Zeita, there is a pipe shared by two villages: Jama’in, with 10,000 inhabitants, and Zeita, with 3,000.
As the place is situated on a high point there are problems with the water pressure. The closure of the gate valve or the lowering of the pressure, and in general the administration of the water supply, is carried out by Mekorot, which discriminates against the Palestinians over the settlements. The head of the Council estimates that the decrease in the water supply is a result of the policy of Mekorot.