A Palestinian boy runs ahead of a water delivery truck to beat others to the water tank that will be filled by the water delivery at a UN school in Gaza City on August 23, 2014. AFP PHOTO/ROBERTO SCHMIDT
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Mohammad al-Khatib fears for his life every time he gets behind the wheel. In wartime, providing water to homes and schools in Gaza means dicing with death. It's an essential job in Gaza, where at least 90 percent of municipal running water is not fit to drink and war damage means that for many people the only water comes from private vendors or desalination plants.But at his boss Hossam Huneif's desalination plant, down a sandy track in Gaza City, Khatib is one of the few drivers who turn up. Trucks are parked around the corner.The charity Oxfam estimates at least 600,000 people – a third of Gaza's 1.8 million population – are without running water. Many others get running water as little as one or two hours every two days, such as in the badly destroyed neighborhood of Shujaiyeh, and repairs have been on hold since airstrikes resumed. Before the war Huneif was fending off growing competition from other desalination plants.
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