Issam A. Al-Khatib

Abstracts

2 Assessment of Compost Usage Quality and Quality for Agricultural Use: A Case Study of Hebron District, Palestine

Authors: Issam A. Al-Khatib, Mohammed A. A. Sarhan

Abstract:

Complying with the technical specifications of compost production is of high importance not only for environmental protection but also for increasing the productivity and promotion of compost use by farmers in agriculture. This study focuses on the compost quality of the Palestinian market and farmers’ attitudes toward agricultural use of compost. The quality is assessed through selection of 20 compost samples of different suppliers and producers and lab testing for quality parameters, while the farmers’ attitudes to compost use for agriculture are evaluated through survey questionnaire of 321 farmers in the Hebron area. The results showed that the compost in the Palestinian markets is of medium quality due to partial or non-compliance with the quality standards and guidelines. The Palestinian farmers showed a positive attitude since 91.2% of them have the desire to use compost in agriculture. The results also showed that knowledge of difference between compost and chemical fertilizers, perception of compost benefits and previously experiencing problems in compost use, are significant factors affecting the farmers’ attitude toward the use of compost as an organic fertilizer.

Keywords: Manure, attitude, compost, organic fertilizer, compost quality

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1 Assessment of Socio-Economic and Water Related Topics at Community Level in Yatta Town, Palestine

Authors: Nibal Al-Batsh, Issam A. Al-Khatib, Subha Ghannam

Abstract:

Yatta is a town in the Governorate of Hebron, located 9 km south of Hebron City in the West Bank. The town houses over 100,000 people, 49% of which are females; a population that doubles every 15 years. Yatta has been connected to a water network since 1974 serving nearly 85% of the households. The water network is old and inadequate to meet the needs of the population. The water supply made available to the area is also very limited, estimated to be around 20 l/c/d. Residents are thus forced to rely on water vendors which supply water with a lower quality compared to municipal water while being 400% more expensive. As a cheaper and more reliable alternative, rainwater harvesting is a common practice in the area, with the majority of the households owning at least one cistern. Rainwater harvesting is of great socioeconomic importance in areas where water sources are scarce or polluted. In this research, the quality of harvested rainwater used for drinking and domestic purposes in the Yatta area was assessed throughout a year. A total of 100 samples, were collected from (cisterns) with an average capacity of 69 m3, which are adjacent to cement-roof catchment areas with an average area of 145 m2. Samples were analyzed for a number of parameters including: pH, alkalinity, hardness, turbidity, Total Dissolved Solids (TDS), NO3, NH4, chloride and salinity. Biological and microbiological contents such as Total Coliforms (TCC) and Fecal Coliforms (FC) bacteria were also tested. Results showed that most of the rainwater samples were within WHO and EPA guidelines set for chemical parameters. The research also addressed the impact of different socioeconomic attributes on rainwater harvesting through questionnaire that was pre-tested before the actual statically sample is collected.

Keywords: Water Quality, Harvesting, Rainwater, socio-economic aspects

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