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Sewage hampers surfing in UK & on the Gaza Strip

Gaza beach © Manar al Zraiy



Environment Updates

Godrevy sewage postpones surfing competition

Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 30 June, 2014 - Access to the waters of the Mediterranean is gradually being closed off to Gaza's 1.8 million residents, due to pollution stemming from the fuel shortages that have halted work at sewage treatment facilities. The blighted shoreline adds to the grind of Gazan life so far unrelieved by the reconciliation pact which the dominant Islamist group Hamas signed with Western-backed President Mahmoud Abbas.

One Hamas official mooted retaking charge of the territory if the Abbas-led new government did not wade in with remedies. Baha al-Agha of the Gaza Environment Quality Authority said about 100,000 cubic metres of untreated waste water are being pumped into the sea daily.

Meanwhile in Cornwall the BBC reported that a surfing event was postponed and bathers ordered out of the sea after sewage flowed onto a National Trust beach. According to the report RNLI lifeguards acted after the third sewage alert so far this year at Godrevy, Cornwall.

One of the organisers of the 10 Boards event described paddling through "10 metres of brown water". South West Water (SWW) blamed heavy rainfall overwhelming the sewage system and apologised "for the inconvenience".

Thirty two women were competing in Saturday's event, which has been held on the beach for the past three years. The RNLI put up red flags on the beach after receiving a pollution alert from SWW via a Surfers Against Sewage (SAS) text message.

Alexa Poppe, from 10 Boards, said: "The water turned brown in about half an hour, the flow was incredible." She said the event resumed on Sunday and no-one had become ill.

SAS campaigns director Andy Cummins said: "There was heavy rain, but this is weather you would expect. "If there are discharges they should be for extreme events and this was not an extreme event."

Reuters & BBC

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