In a bid to deal with the problems of the desalination plant in Tobruk once and for all, the Beida-based interim Prime Minister Abdullah Al-Thinni summoned all the top water resources officials in the east of the country to an emergency meeting today. Tobruk has been facing water shortages for years, in part because of a rise in consumption but also because of declining production at the desalination plant, the result of inadequate maintenance over more than 13 years. Cracked pipes and boilers have resulted in a drop in output. Distribution pipes in the town also need replacing. Faced with this, the local authorities have been looking at various alternatives over the past year and more – from digging new wells to the construction of a new plant with a capacity of 150,000 cubic metres of water a day.
United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine refugees (UNRWA) disbursed over $1.6 million for reconstruction and severe repair works to 244 refugee families across Gaza. A statement said emergency shelter – including support for home repairs, reconstruction and interim shelter solutions – is a top priority for UNRWA. European Union Heads of Mission in Jerusalem and Ramallah, meanwhile, visited Gaza on Tuesday to get first-hand impression of reconstruction efforts. The group of more than 20 senior European diplomats met with UNRWA officials, Palestinian ministers and representatives of Palestinian civil society.