Gender Empowerment and Treated Wastewater Reuse in Ramallah, Palestine

Teaser Image Caption
The treated wastewater flows in the Wadi and forms algae. It infiltrated within the ground and appears in a good condition after 400 meters.

The rights to water and sanitation are essential elements of the right to an adequate standard of living and the right to the highest attainable standard of physical, economic, social and cultural needs. In Palestine, where agricultural landscape is replaced by an anonymous built environment and the domestic and industrial sectors dominate the use of extremely scarce freshwater resources, treated wastewater can serve as a new source of water. Women in Palestine are disproportionately affected by the lack of access to sanitation and adequate quantities of safe water. The research aimed to improve the empowerment of communities and individuals (mainly women) in the Palestinian urban areas on the acceptance of the reuse of treated wastewater. Research was carried out at Ein Qinyia village in Ramallah about whether or not training women can increase their awareness and accept the reuse of treated wastewater from the Al-Tireh Wastewater Treatment Plant. It was found out that the percentage of women who accepted the reuse of treated wastewater has increased through the training program. The importance of creating knowledge and awareness toward sustainable wastewater reuse in urban areas is a strategic need for the Palestinian public, researchers and decision makers. A questionnaire including "Gender - treated wastewater and the acceptance for the reuse of the treated wastewater" was designed. A roughly selected sample of 30 farmers from Ein Qiniyia inhabitants was interviewed. The questionnaire focused on the following main issues: women and community empowerment index; social acceptance; and awareness impact on acceptance of treated wastewater. The collected data was analyzed using SPSS. Collective and individual empowerment (mainly women) impacts the acceptance of new and non traditional water resources like treated water. This impact comes in terms of creating a new chance to access and control of water resources, to increase the agency of communities and individuals toward those resources and to achieve their goals of more economic and social values, like increasing incomes, improving their ability to make a change and so to meet gender practical.

A comparative study was carried out in Rammoun Treated Wastewater in the eastern side of Ramallah. The study targeted the empowerment of women inside the village from socio-economic and environmental point of views. This will ease the possibility of the usage of the treated wastewater from the village inhabitants, especially women and from the locations which lies down stream of the Waste Water Treatment Plant (WWTP). The farmers are using the wastewater in medium scale in the village and it was noted the treated waste water quality is good. The work aimed to find out the role and empowerment of women in the re-use of treated wastewater in Ramon. The existence of a greater awareness among the educated class of the women of the town about the importance and benefits of treated wastewater was found. In addition to that the idea of ​​accepting wastewater treatment faces several difficulties of cultural, financial, social and religious reasons. Females in the study population show a good image of the acceptance of the idea of ​​wastewater reuse. The community will be more respective to the idea of ​​use of treated wastewater for uses. The media and experts are most categories that have the ability to influence the community and increasing acceptance of the idea of ​​the use of treated water, followed by the truth that wastewater treatment is necessary to preserve the environment. After the conducted workshop in the village the percentage of the participated women (40 persons) of reusing wastewater for agriculture is increased and the role of women in society has to be increased.