Middle East

The United Nations wants to turn the Gaza Valley into a nature reserve

The United Nations plans to begin rehabilitating a historic valley in the Gaza Strip of Palestine next month, with a planned $ 66 million project to transform landfills and sewage treatment plants into vibrant nature reserves. I want
The Gaza Valley, home to a variety of flora and fauna, is one of the largest wetlands in the region.
It extends 105 km from the Negev Desert in Israel to the southern part of Hebron on the west bank of the occupied Jordan River, and 9 km beyond the Gaza Strip to the Mediterranean Sea.
But over the past few decades, it has been heavily polluted, even though the Palestinians declared the valley a nature reserve in the 1990s.
Garbage is piled up, the stink of sewage is flowing, and the inhabitants are moving away. To save that, the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) has put together a $ 66 million project plan, but has not yet secured the entire funding.
Mohammed Abu Shaban, UNDP’s project coordinator, said:
According to Abu Shaban, the two-stage project will take several years to complete.
The first funding from Belgium, $ 1.3 million, will be directed to the first cleanup, which is expected to take about four months.
“In March we will begin removing solid waste and concrete debris from the wadi (valley), opening routes, landfilling and planting many trees,” said Abu Shaban. Over the past few months, a new water treatment station in central Gaza has drained treated water into the valley, improving the habitat of dozens of bird, mammal, reptile and amphibian species.
In the long run, restoration is also aimed at benefiting the people of Gaza, with campgrounds, cafes, education and recreation centers along the route of the valley.
“Several tourism and economic centers will be built to provide jobs to the unemployed,” said Marwan Hamad, head of the Zafra City Council involved in the development.
On Sunday, 40 activists visited the site to support the project. “We came from all over the Gaza Strip and told people that the Gaza Valley would be transformed and restored as a nature reserve,” said 26-year-old Mohammed Abuljaira.

When Palestinians visit the Gaza Valley during a UN-sponsored trip in central Gaza, a bird stands in the hands of a handler.



http://www.gulf-times.com/story/709473/UN-hopes-to-transform-Gaza-Valley-into-a-nature-re The United Nations wants to turn the Gaza Valley into a nature reserve

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