Editorial – March 2016
May 2016 will mark the 68th anniversary of the Nakba (Catastrophe) in Palestine. Like every year, we will be commemorating this tragic event from Monday, 18 April until the end of May with our annual Nakba campaign, which aims to raise not only funds but also awareness of the significance of the Catastrophe.
In what is known as the Nakba, over 750,000 Palestinians were expelled from their homes and forced to live as refugees in the West Bank, the Gaza strip, Lebanon, Jordan and Syria. An estimated 500 Palestinian towns and villages were quite literally wiped off the map, their Arab populations removed, their names changed and history erased. The consequences of what Israeli historian Ilan Pappé called “ethnic cleansing” continue to this day, with generations of displaced families in desperate need of food, shelter and access to healthcare. We will be holding our now annual fundraising dinner, Nakba Narratives, in mid-May; the exact date and venue has yet to be confirmed, so keep an eye on our Facebook page for further details.
To mark World Water Day, we made access to clean water our human rights focus of the month, with our “Water is a Human Right” campaign. As you may already know, over 90% of water in Gaza is unfit for human consumption and people are forced buy drinking water even though they can barely afford it. According to the United Nations, the coastal aquifer, Gaza’s main water source could become unusable this year, with the damage irreversible by 2020. In Lebanon’s refugee camps, many are completely unable to access clean drinking water from their homes. Water pollution due to sewage and domestic waste is of major concern because infectious diseases spread through contaminated water.
There are many ways you can still get involved with our Water campaign. You can take part in the Gaza Water Challenge, advocate for Palestinians, organise your own fundraising event or donate to one of our water projects.
The money raised will help us to supply homes and public buildings with water tanks and give families clean water refills for months. It will also allow us to build more water filtration units and desalination plants. Such projects would not be possible without you, our supporters, donors and friends. Together, we have the power to make a real difference to the lives of Palestinians. Thank you again for your endless generosity and support.