Two weeks ago, after four decades of waiting, the Israel Electric Corporation connected the Al-Sayyid elementary school to the national power grid. Four other schools in the Bedouin village will be connected before school starts in September. The victory is the result of a petition filed by NIF-grantee Adalah to the Supreme Court more than two years ago calling on the state to fulfill its obligations towards Abu Sayyid as well as two other recognized Bedouin villages in the Negev and their school systems.
Until now the schools, which serve some 3,000 students, have been running on generators that when inspected by an engineer from Adalah, were found to be emitting poisonous fumes and occasionally leaking diesel fuel.
And not only are the schools of the three villages included in the petition being connected (the work has been completed for two of the three so far), but two schools in the village of Mulda, which was not included in the lawsuit, are being hooked up as well.
“Everything in the Bedouin areas happens after a Supreme Court petition, like the building of the schools themselves and the connection to the power grid,” the director of the Al-Qasum Regional Council, Mutzlach Abu-Asa, told Haaretz. “The schools in the village have been operating since the 70s on generators. But we don’t look backwards, we look forwards.”
Photo Credit: Flickr user Marcus Williams