Stories

Recognized Bedouin Village Connected to Water Grid

22 September 2009 By New Israel Fund

Five years after the Negev Bedouin village of Darjat was recognized by the Israeli government, the 900 residents have finally been connected to the national water grid and have running water in their homes. The campaign to gain government recognition of villages and provide all villages with basic utilities, educational, health and welfare services is spearheaded by NIF grantee Regional Council for Unrecognized Negev Arab Villages (RCUV)

Indoor faucets have replaced outdoor jerry cans in the Negev Bedouin village of Darjat

Over the years, the affluent residents of the village paid thousands of dollars to dig wells near their home, while the poor would carry cans of water from more distant wells.

Even before the recent arrival of running water, Nasser, one of the luckier residents who pumped water from a well near his home, recalled that life could still be a nightmare. He said, "Sometimes the water would run out in the middle of a shower, or there would be no water in the morning when the children had to brush their teeth."

The residents of Darjat are still far from satisfied with the situation as they are yet to be hooked up to the electricity grid. 

Thanks to a major campaign led by the NIF family and the NIF supported Abu Basma Project, Darjat is one of nine previously unrecognized Negev Bedouin villages that have been recognized in recent years, though the struggle to ensure that they are provided with infrastructure and public services continues. There are still 50,000 Bedouin living in 36 unrecognized villages in the Negev.  NIF and the Abu Basma Project will continue to work towards recognition and services for these villages.

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