Wednesday, December 12

Wastewater Treatment goes back to 1978

MCC recently opened a wastewater treatment plant in a small village in the West Bank in cooperation with one of our partners. The village's water supply is being threatened by an Israeli settlement nearby; sewage from the settlement is dumped near the village's spring, and the spring is in danger of becoming polluted. The wastewater treatment plant helps the village in several ways: it gives the village some control over their own water source (as opposed to Israeli control), it promotes food security since more water is provided for irrigation, and it saves the village money by treating sewage that would normally have to be removed. The village council, some of whom are here, were the ones that had to give the OK to allow the treatment plant to be installed. They initially weren't excited about the idea of wastewater being used for anything, but they eventually came around. Now, there's a pump up and running in the village. It treats 50 cubic meters of water a day (a tenth of what the entire village produces). Best of all, this village now serves as an example to the entire West Bank that it's ok to use treated wastewater. There are a lot of people that will directly benefit from this project; it's great to see people's actual physical needs being met. I think the only way we could get closer to Jesus' statement about giving a cup of water in his name would be if we put a tap in at the pump.

One of the great parts of this project is how it connects people that wouldn't normally work together. It brought together ARIJ, our local partner in the area, with the people of Naha'lin, which politically leans toward Hamas. After the dedication ceremony they hosted us for lunch. It was good
to be able to interact with people that we normally wouldn't have contact with. And, MCC's logo was everywhere. In fact, we met someone who remembers MCC from 30 years ago.

This man, Mustafa, remembered when MCC came to his village in 1978. MCC workers helped bring pipes and running water to his village. He remembers that each family had to lay pipe from their house to the main one in the street. He's currently part of the village council and here is giving MCC Jerusalem rep. Ryan Lehman a plaque in thanks for MCC's work in the village. Meeting him and listening to his stories reinforced the fact that past workers are still connected to the things we do here today. The dedication of the plant was a big event in the town and we were privileged to be a part of it while representing MCC both past and present.

Here you can see the MCC logo on the truck used to gather wastewater.

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