17 April, 2012

Green Gaza Schools

Gaza Green School prototype
With the continuing Israeli blockade; with all the suffering; and the misery that its people have - the residence of Gaza have some thing to celebrate for: the United Nations relief agency for Palestinian refugees.......has formed a partnership with the renowned, award-winning Italian architect, Mario Cucinella, to build 20 environmentally-friendly schools in the Strip.

A first for the UN relief agency, at a cost of $2 million each - which is about the same cost of building a regular UNRWA school - each school will provide educational facilities for 800 students. Using low cost, environmentally sustainable technology, all these schools will be totally self-sustaining and sufficient. Using locally-sourced materials and combining old, Islamic with modern design, the schools will be: solar powered, heated and cooled; for its water needs, rain-water will be harvested and waste-water recycled; all, then, treated and purified.

For the people of Gaza, who have to sustain Israeli bombardments;  who have to endure constant electric power outages and water shortages; and who have to bear many other forms of hardships - this project will be a much needed relief. For parents in particular, who will be much comforted knowing that there children, when in these schools - unlike them at home and those not in similar schools - will have enough water and electricity. As for the lucky students who will be enrolled in these schools, they will indeed be the lucky few in Gaza. Gaza, a strip of land over populated with about one-and-a-half million people; blockaded land, which is only about 41km long and averaging only about 6km to 12 km wide.

+ Drawings of the School from: Archilovers
+ UN News
+ Mario Cucinella Architects