Under the Auspices of the Minister of Local Government - The Government of Japan and UNDP Inaugurate Solid Waste Landfill in Jericho

Feb 8, 2017

H.E. Dr. Hussein Al-Araj, Minster of local Government, H.E Adallah Al-Ateeri, Head of the Environment Quality Authority, H.E. Takeshi Okubo, Ambassador for Palestinian Affairs, Representative of Japan to the Palestinian Authority, and Roberto Valent, UNDP Special Representative of the Administrator cutting the ribbon at the Jericho Landfill

Jericho, 08 February 2017 – The Ministry of Local Government, the Environment Quality Authority, the Government of Japan and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP/PAPP), marked the inauguration of the Jericho landfill expansion for improved solid waste management in the Jericho and Jordan River Rift Valley area.

The expansion of the Jericho landfill project is funded by the Government of Japan for the amount of USD 3.1 million and implemented by UNDP/PAPP in cooperation with the Ministry of Local Government and the Joint Service Council for Planning and Development for Solid Waste Management. The expansion of the Jericho landfill, which has already reached its full capacity, will enable it to serve for another five years and receive additional waste until the planned regional sanitary landfill in Ramallah Governorate is constructed. The project is expected to benefit over 50,000 residents in Jericho and surrounding communities, safeguard the environment and have an impact on the economy.

H.E. Takeshi Okubo, Ambassador for Palestinian Affairs, Representative of Japan to the Palestinian Authority, expressed appreciation for combined efforts by the Ministry of Local Government, the Joint Service Council for Planning and Development for Solid Waste Management, and UNDP/PAPP. “Solid waste management continues to remain one of the most pressing challenges in Palestine. It is a critical matter because it is not only leading to the degradation of our natural resources and environment but also adversely affecting the overall wellbeing and livelihood of Palestinian people. Through our project, we hope to contribute to moving towards integrated and sustainable management of solid waste in Palestine, thereby responding to these challenges promptly and adequately,” he added.

In addition, the project included the construction of a materials recovery facility, with its associated storage, and a transfer station for the sorting and recycling of waste. Several solid waste equipment was also provided through the project to improve waste collection and transportation. The equipment included five units 103 containers, one pickup truck, two compactors, one waste truck, one backhoe loader, two 123 compactors and one 103hooklift.

Roberto Valent, UNDP Special Representative of the Administrator valued the strategic partnership UNDP/PAPP has with the State of Palestine and the Government of Japan. “This expanded facility is an important part of an integrated Palestinian solid waste management system. It is essential that waste is disposed of in a sanitary environmentally friendly way that protects public health and safe guard the environment. With support from Japan, UNDP/PAPP over the past seven years was able to implement projects worth over USD 15 million targeting solid waste management in both the West Bank and Gaza Strip,” he added.

The ceremony which took place on Wednesday 08 February 2017 was attended by Dr. Hussein Al-Araj, Minster of local Government, H.E Adallah Al-Ateeri, Head of the Environment Quality Authority, Mr Majed Al Fityani, Governor of Jericho, H.E. Takeshi Okubo, Ambassador for Palestinian Affairs, Representative of Japan to the Palestinian Authority, Mr Mohammad Jalayta, Mayor of Jericho and Director of Jericho and Jordan River Rift Valley Joint Service Council for Solid Waste Management (JCspd), and Roberto Valent, UNDP Special Representative of the Administrator.

According to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics it is estimated that around 78,644 tons of solid waste is produced in the State of Palestine per month, with organic waste constituting between 75-80% of the total amount.

It is worth noting that weak and fragmented solid waste management is considered to be the second fundamental environmental problem in the State of Palestine. Improper management of solid waste (SW) services is one of the leading causes for degradation of Palestinian natural resources, including soil, air and water pollution and the destruction of natural habitat and loss of biodiversity. The management of solid waste is also exacerbated further by the lack of control over land and resources and the restriction in movement and mobility.

The project builds upon the Government of Japan’s strategic partnership with UNDP/PAPP to support the Palestinian people in various sectors. To date, the Government of Japan has invested over USD 420 million worth of assistance through UNDP/PAPP.

Contact information

Dania Darwish, Communications Specialist, Tel. +972-2-6268200 – e-mail: dania.darwish@undp.org. For more information on UNDP/PAPP see http://www.ps.undp.org.

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