Gaza – Mohammed Habib
Deputy Minister of Housing and Public Works in Gaza, Naji Sarhanm said the implementation of the projects financed by Qatar will start within six months after finishing the blueprints.
Sarhan told Arabstoday that the projects include building Sheikh Hamad residential city in Khan Younus, paving the main street: Salah al-din street, al-Bahr road and the eastern line road.
The projects also include a hospital for artificial limbs in north Gaza Strip, repairing a number of internal roads, financing the machinery of the Ministry of Public Works as well as agriculture projects.
Sarhan added that tenders are launched for the designs, which settled on a number of construction companies in Gaza. These companies will prepare the designs in about six months to the actual implementation of the projects take place.
He explained that about $60 million were dedicated to Salah al-din street, $50 million to al-Bahr road and $18 million to the eastern line road. He added that $32 million are dedicated to the implementation of residential projects, in addition to Sheikh Hamad residential city, $12.5 million for agricultural projects, $48 million for infrastructure project for the municipalities and $12 million for the artificial limbs hospital.
The project of Sheikh Hamad residential city in Khan Younus lies in the north east of Asdaa recreational city, and will provide 1000 residential units dedicated for medium and low income classes. The city will include two schools, a mosque, a health centre, a commercial centre and green areas.
Sarhan said that the projects will provide many work opportunities for engineers, architects technicians, carpenters and workers in blacksmith and the economy will start moving. He added that an initiative was launched in training the engineers and architects who will work on these projects.
Sarhan added that Salah al-din street with be reconstructed from Rafah crossing till Wadi Gaza, and will include paving and infrastructure works to drain rain water, water and sanitation networks, electricity works as well as other services.
He said that the Qatari finance will also include al-Bahr road from Sheikh Aglan neighbourhood to Rafah, and includes studies and designs, , water and sanitation networks and electricity works. Its length is about 35 km, and 40m wide.
The projects also include several internal streets in Gaza municipalities, and the first phase foresees repairing 42 internal streets.
Sarhan said Gaza suffers the shortage in residential units, and needs more than 14 thousand units yearly to cover this shortage, therefore the ministry planned 11 new residential projects in north, centre and south Gaza Strip, and arranged tosses to choose the residents.
In Rafah, Forqan neighbourhood project was planned; while northern the Strip Bisan project was drafted as well as Ferdous and Tebria.
Sarhan said there are pieces of land included in the residential projects for external finance as the United Nations Development Project (UNDP) financed the construction of a number of residential projects for citizens, included in the lands dedicated by the ministry.
Sarhan said the work in ongoing in preparing the lands of the residential projects for months to they are delivered to the citizens, especially Bisan neighbourhood project in north Gaza and Boraq project in the south.
He added that there are other residential projects in centre Gaza, including al-Hida neighbourhood in Hagaraldeek and al-Qastal in Dair al-Balah.
Sarhan said the implementation of the projects in Gaza will affect the prices, which will stabilize after making available a big number of residential apartments for the citizens.
He went through the machinery and the equipment of the ministry noting that they need maintenance which is huge obstacle on the projects of the ministry.
According to Sarhan, through the Qatari finance a number of machinery will be imported in order to perform their role in the reconstruction projects and the residential projects.
Sarhan talked about a 100 days plan in the ministry which includes the ministry’s sectors in housing, roads and reconstructions, with the priority of concluding settling the residential projects’ lands in the north and south of the Strip in order to deliver them to the citizens, followed by working on quality monitoring and control of the construction materials.
This will happen by controlling the concrete factories and engineering labs.
In the road sector, extended maintenance will be done on Salah al-din street and the coastal road, and the changes will be notable by the citizens.
About the international communications, Sarhan said that the ministry has contacts with several financing bodies for housing and construction projects.
The ministry contacted Qatar, prepared a reconstruction plan and discussed it with them.
It also contacted the UAE for financing the construction of Sheikh Khalifa city for released detainees, and there is a communication with Kuwait about the construction of al-Sabah residential city.
Moreover, there are communications with Turkey to construct Mohamed Abdul Fattah neighbourhood in Gaza, and explained that the ministry is having several external communication with bodies willing to support the Palestinian people.
Sarhan thanked Qatari people for the support of the mentioned and important projects, as well as thanking Saudi Arabia for its role in constructing hundreds of residential units which were destroyed during the war, through the Islamic development bank.
He also thanked the UAE, Kuwait, Turkey and the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) for their supporting the residential projects, praising their efforts and their role in helping the Palestinian people.