On the roof of the Zahrat al-Madaen School for Girls, the Union of Agricultural Work Committees (UAWC) runs a project to collect rainwater and channel it into underground barrels. The water is then pumped to irrigate gardens that the union is developing at the school. The project is part of an initiative to raise awareness among youth about using rainwater and public spaces for agricultural production.
UAWC launched the initiative in December at four schools in Rafah run by the UN Relief and Works Agency. Rafah, along with the rest of Gaza, faces shortages in potable and irrigation water. According to the union, collecting rainwater on rooftops is a fitting idea and a key element in helping alleviate the water crisis. The major components needed are collecting elements, storage units (underground barrels) and pumps to move water from storage units to gardens through pipelines designated for different usages.
Ghassan Abu Saada, the engineer supervising the union's projects, told Al-Monitor, “International organizations and donors’ policies are tending toward supporting peri-urban and urban agricultural projects in the Gaza Strip to make use of urban spaces to produce pesticide-free crops and help poor families achieve self-sufficiency by producing crops that are safe for household consumption.”
[Photo by Grassroots International | Flickr]