Negev Bedouin Town Left Without Water After Repeated Theft of Central Pump

Lakiya residents have been living with only sporadic water supply.

Residents of a Bedouin town in the Negev are complaining that the region's water company has only been supplying them with water one to two hours a day for the past two weeks.

Alsanaa Mar'i, a resident of Lakiya, said that water comes only at night, forcing residents to hoard water for use during the day.

Bedouin water - Eliyahu Hershkowitz - 09012012
Eliyahu Hershkowitz

The water company, Neveh Midbar, said the erratic water supply is due to the repeated theft of infrastructures, including the main pump.

The water company said it is working on a solution, but denied that the town's water had been cut off for lengthy periods of time.

Mar'i, who said he was told about the theft of the town's central pump, added that it had been decided not to purchase another pump.

If that was indeed the case, he said, the police were at fault for not providing proper guarding of the pump.

Officials at Neveh Midbar said Lakiya has suffered from serious problems of water theft and the theft of supply infrastructures.

They added that residents of Lakiya have often failed to pay their bills.

The Mekorot water utility refused to pay for the replacement of some parts after the central pump and other parts were stolen, repaired and then stolen again.

The company said when the Water Authority allows it to repair the central pump, it will also put in place a sophisticated security system that will include physical barriers and electronic warning systems.