Wadi Gaza to transform into nature reserve
Palestine's largest wetland is getting a pollution clean-up to revive its plant and animal life.
Before the pollution and wastewater that resulted from "Israel's" blockade of Gaza since 2007 and its repeated aggression, the Gaza Valley flourished with plant and animal life.
The polluted wetland is anticipated to receive a major clean-up after it was designated as Gaza's first nature reserve, entailing a decade-long clean-up effort backed by the UN.
Jaber Abu Hajeer, the mayor of Wadi Gaza, said the valley will "return to its beautiful natural state."
Gaza's inadequate infrastructure cannot handle the waste of 2.3 million people. For over 30 years, Wadi Gaza became a dumping ground for garbage and construction debris.
Abdel-Fattah Abd Rabbo, an environmental specialist at the Islamic University of Gaza, said the beautiful reserve turned into "a swamp full of insects, snakes, and bacteria, an out-of-control dump."
A local resident, Abdulkarim Al-Louh said, "Unfortunately, due to the political situation that we are living under, the reserve got destroyed and was transformed into a wastewater swamp". He hopes the reversing of the damage will clear the area of diseases.
After the cleaning efforts, the next phase is the planting of trees and creating better road access.
Gaza's people have endured a crippling siege imposed by the Israeli occupation forces, and leisure opportunities are scarce if any.
Access into and out of Gaza is closely monitored by "Israel" and Egypt, and foreign visitors are scrutinized by the IOF.