Unhealthy compromises are imposed throughout the Palestinian territory to cope with the lack of clean water. At home, Palestinians are often forced to trade off household and personal hygiene so they will have enough water for cooking and drinking. Farmers spray crops with raw sewage, school toilets are left in unsanitary states and children face the risk of contracting disease.
In deeply impoverished communities where there are poor sanitary conditions children face the possibility of water-borne infections such as trachoma, conjunctivitis, dysentery, gastro-enteritis, ascariasis and hookworm. Hygienic conditions in many schools expose children to infections. A lack of clean drinking water also increases the risk of diarrhoea, hepatitis A, typhoid fever, paratyphoid and gastro-enteritis.
UNICEF is working to help strengthen and improve water and sanitation systems, especially in schools and health facilities.