Flooding in Kufr 'Aqab, January 2022
Residents of Kufr 'Aqab—a neighborhood in East Jerusalem located beyond the separation wall—contacted the Association for Civil Rights (ACRI) and described the severe flooding in the neighborhood following the rain.
Residents explained the drastic effects of the flooding that included an inability to reach school or work for two days, and drastic damage to homes, vehicles, roads, and infrastructure in the neighborhood. We appealed to the Jerusalem Municipality and "Gihon," the Jerusalem Area’s water and wastewater utility, to repair the drainage infrastructure and to act urgently to prevent flooding during the winter. We also demanded that the municipality negotiate with the residents' representatives regarding compensation for the damage caused to them.
From the numerous reports submitted by the residents every year, Advocates Reut Sha'ar and Tal Hussein conclude that the municipality is very familiar with the risk of flooding in Kufr Aqab neighborhood. The poor and neglected drainage and sewage infrastructure in the neighborhood, together with its topograp
hic structure and proximity to the separation wall, which prevents the flow of runoff water to the adjacent channel, make the neighborhood prone to flooding. The sewage and drainage infrastructure in the neighborhood are not separated, and when the drainage system overflows, the runoff water mixes with sewage water, and the polluted and putrid liquid floods the neighborhood, reaching residents' homes and endangering their health.
In the appeal, we emphasize that the municipality, the planning and the water and drainage institutions operating in it have a legal obligation to immediately act to prevent further flooding in the neighborhood and a responsibility to compensate the residents for the damages caused to them as a result of the negligence.