Photo Voltaic Solar System for the Rafah Wastewater Treatment and Reuse Plants (RWWTP)

Casting ground beams for solar panels


Project Summary

The unsustainable water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) situation in the Gaza Strip has been exacerbated by the longstanding blockade and the 2014 hostilities. Wastewater and sewage treatment plants lack the appropriate infrastructure to respond to population growth in the Gaza Strip. According to the United Nations “Gaza in 2020: A livable Place?” report, some 90,000 CM of raw or partially treated sewage is being discharged daily into the Mediterranean Sea (almost 33 MCM per year). This is causing pollution and creating public health hazards, especially for swimmers during summer. Thus, Palestinians in the Gaza Strip are in dire need of sustainable WASH solutions.

With generous support from the Government of Japan, the “Rafah Waste Water Treatment Plant and Reuse Plants Photo Voltaic Solar System” project aims at protecting public health and improving the wellbeing of the Palestinian population in the Gaza Strip.

The intervention is twofold. First, an additional 100 KWp. were installed in the Rafah WWTP in order to efficiently operate the plant. With full capacity to treat wastewater up to the required standard for post treatment, the plant will also produce adequate irrigation water quality. Secondly, another 100 KWp will be installed to operate the pumping station to transfer treated water for the targeted farming areas for irrigation purposes.

Prior to the project, 14,000 CM of untreated wastewater were dumped into the sea causing public health and environmental hazards for the fishing industry. The project will contribute to more sustainable and integrated water management in the Gaza Strip by supporting the reuse of treated wastewater for irrigation in the Rafah Governorate.

The programme outcomes are:

  • Outcome 1: Infrastructure, natural and cultural resources are more sustainably used and managed in the Gaza Strip.
  • Outcome 2: Palestinian population has enhanced, secured and sustainable access to their natural resources, better environmental protection and sustainable resources.

Upon the completion of the project:

  • Around 7000 CM of treated wastewater will be pumped to irrigate some agricultural farms under the supervision of the Ministry of Agriculture.
  • The quality of treated wastewater for irrigation schemes has improved due to the utilization of solar energy for the operation of Rafah wastewater treatment plant and Rafah post treatment facilities.
  • Around 500 farmers and their families (50% males and 50% females) will directly benefit from access to treated wastewater to irrigate their farms.
  • Around 170,000 residents from the Rafah Governorate will benefit from improved public health and environment conditions following the treatment of wastewater pumped into the sea, and the quality of crops that will be produced.

Accomplishments and Progress

  • Design and specifications for the proposed PV system were completed by UNDP, in close cooperation with PENRA, and CMWU, based on the original design produced by NICOD.
  • 624 Panasonic solar panels (325 watt) were imported, installed and operated efficiently.
  • 202.8 KW generated from the installed on-grid solar system.
  • Solar system connected with the national grid, in coordination and approval of PENRA.
  • Connection with public grid completed. An underground cable of 1,335 meters was linked to the main network, in addition to 360 meters of Medium Voltage Air Wire.  
Geographic Coverage: Gaza Strip
Partners: Palestinian Water Authority (PWA), Coastal Municipalities Water Utility (CMWU), Palestinian Energy and Natural Resources Authority (PENRA)
Sustainable Development Goal/s: Clean Water and Sanitation, Affordable and Clean Energy, Good Health and Well-Being, Responsible Consumption and Production
Project Manager: Iman Al Husseini, Programme Specialist
Contact: 059-9-606775, Email:
Mohammad Mezyad, Project Manager
Contact: 00970–59-9712332
Other Documents: Project Fact Sheet