giving totals

Total funding goal: $20,000

Total funding to date: $17,000

Remaining goal: $3,000

Total Donors: 100

Middle East Children's Alliance

Founded in 1988, the Middle East Children's Alliance is a registered nonprofit organization working for the rights and the well-being of children in the Middle East.

Project start date: 07/01/2011

Project completion date: 06/30/2012

Latest project status

Milestone Objective

Date: 03/02/2018

New Water Purification Unit at Maghazi

A new water purification and desalination unit funded by Connecther has been installed at the Maghazi Community Rehabilitation Center. The center's preschool/kindergarten serves 130 students. In addition, the center offers activities for 70 with disabilities. They will alll benefit from access to clean water. With your support, we will continue to provide clean water to people throughoView More


Milestone Objective

Date: 01/03/2016

Ajial Elementary Students enjoy clean drinking water

Ajial Kindergarten in the Mawassi area near Khan Younis, Gaza has received the new Water purification system. With your donations, 80 children in Gaza are now drinking clean, safe water every day! This is a very poor and neglected area and our partners in Gaza worked with the staff and students at the kView More


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The Maia Project: Bringing Clean Water to the Children of Palestine

Gaza Strip, Palestine

This project began when the Student Parliament at the UN Boys School in Bureij Refugee Camp, Gaza were given the opportunity to choose one thing they most wanted for their school: They chose to have clean drinking water. MECA's partner in Gaza heard about this vote and, after meeting with representatives from the school and the Student Parliament, came to MECA to see if we could respond to the children’s request for drinking water. MECA provided the funds to build a water purification and desalination unit for the school in 2007.

MECA is working in partnership with community organizations in Gaza to build water purification and desalination units in schools throughout the Gaza Strip.

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Siham Naseef

Amount: $150

Status: Matched

Processed: 2013-07-14

Where this project is located

Info about Palestine

There is a growing water crisis in Palestine that affects agriculture, industry, and the health of virtually every adult and child. In the Gaza Strip, poor sanitation and over-extraction have polluted the limited water supply.

Project Milestones

JOIN US! MECA is seeking supporters to expand the Maia Project to schools throughout Gaza. A large purification unit for a UN school in a refugee camp costs $11,500. The UN schools run in shifts due to overcrowding and each unit provides drinking water for 1,500-2,000 children and staff. A small purification unit for a preschool or kindergarten costs $4,000 and serves 150-450 children.

Many organizations, individuals, and schools around the US are raising the whole cost of a unit in their communities. In some cities, communities have formed MAIA Chapters to raise funds on an ongoing basis for multiple units. MECA is also partnering with schools in the US whose students have committed to raising funds and building a relationship with a “sister school” in Gaza.

  • Sponsor one or more water units in schools in Gaza: Consider creating a group at your school or a MAIA Chapter in your community to raise funds and build a connection with a “sister school” in Gaza.
  • Buy a Maia water bottle! Help the environment and children in Palestine with a reusable water bottle.
  • Organize a house party or event to raise awareness about the water crisis in Palestine.
  • Sign the “Clean Water for Children in Palestine” petition to President Obama to pressure Israel to give Palestinian children access to clean drinking water. Go to:
  • Support the Palestinian call for Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions of Israel until it complies with international law. Go to: for more information.

MECA can provide further information and materials. Please contact us at


Since Israel's occupation of the West Bank and Gaza in 1967, Israel has, in violation of international law, almost completely controlled Palestinian water resources and deprived Palestinians of access to its rightful share of water. In the context of the peace process, the Palestinian Water Authority (PWA) assumed responsibility, but Israel maintained control of the flow and volume of water to be used by Palestinians. Israel repeatedly vetoed Palestinian water projects, hindering any development. This has forced Palestinians to purchase water from Israeli companies.

According to international law, which calls for "equitable and reasonable" allocation of water among the parties with a claim to shared watercourses, Palestinians should have full sovereignty over all the eastern aquifer resources that lie beneath the West Bank, and at least equitable rights to the western and northeastern aquifers. Under international law, Israel must pay compensation for the past and ongoing illegal use of Palestinian water resources. (Excerpted from PASSIA - The Palestinian Academic Society for the Study of International Affairs)

The water crisis in Gaza:

The water crisis in Gaza is extreme. When the state of Israel was established in 1948, hundreds of thousands of Palestinians were driven from their homes in what is now southern Israel to the small and arid Gaza Strip. At the same time, Israel cut off access to water sources around Gaza. The only source available, the Gaza Aquifer, could not support the huge and sudden rise in population, and the water it generates has been steadily deteriorating for more than sixty years.

  • Twenty-two days of Israeli military attacks on Gaza (December 2008-January 2009) brought the already deteriorated water and sanitation sector to the brink of collapse. (EWASH. The Impact of the Blockade on Water and Sanitation in Gaza. Sept 2009) Israeli attacks caused US$6 million worth of damage to water and wastewater infrastructure in Gaza. (Amnesty International. Thirsting for Justice: Palestinian Access to Water Restricted. Oct 2009)
  • Per capita water consumption in Gaza is 78 liters/day on average though the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends a minimum of 100 liters/day/person. (The World Bank. Palestinian Economic Prospects: Aid, Access and Reform. Sept. 2008.) In Israel, per capita daily use is 280 liters, over 4.5 times greater than in Gaza.
  • On average, people in Gaza have access to water for several hours only one to four days per week. (Inter Press Service. Gaza’s Water Supply Near Collapse. 17 Sept. 2009)
  • Only 5-10% of groundwater in Gaza is potable because over-extraction has allowed seawater to enter the groundwater. (The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Analysis: Looming Water Crisis in Gaza. 15 Sept. 2009)
  • The Israeli blockade of Gaza has denied industries and families in Gaza necessary equipment and supplies to rebuild and maintain water and sanitation facilities. (The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Analysis: Looming Water Crisis in Gaza. 15 Sept. 2009)
  • Palestinian refugees in Gaza make up over three-quarters of the population. The most common infectious diseases affecting them are directly related to inadequate supplies of safe water and poor sanitation: water diarrhea, acute bloody diarrhea and viral hepatitis. (UNRWA. Epidemiological Bulletin for Gaza Strip, Volume 1, Issue 11. Aug. 2009)
  • An outbreak of Hepatatis A and parasitic infections could occur at any time" according to a WHO representative in Gaza. And there has been a marked increase in kidney diseases due to contaminated water according to Gaza's Coastal Municipalities Water Utility. (Inter Press Service. Gaza's Water Supply Near Collapse. 17 Sept. 2009)
  • A recent study found excessive nitrate levels in the drinking water of Gaza. 90% of their water samples contained nitrate concentrations that were between two and eight times higher than the limit recommended by the WHO. (Basem Shomar, Karsten Osenbrück, Alfred Yahya: "Elevated nitrate levels in the groundwater of the Gaza Strip: Distribution and sources," in Science of the Total Environment 398 (2008) 164-174.) High nitrate levels are especially dangerous to infants under six months and can cause methemoglobinemia, commonly known as "blue baby syndrome."

More Information

MECA is working in partnership with community organizations in Gaza to build water purification and desalination units in schools throughout the Gaza Strip. We have provided clean water to nearly 30,000 children at 14 large UN schools in Palestinian refugee camps and 13 kindergartens in refugee camps, towns, and villages.