On Sunday, authorities in the populous and beleaguered Gaza Strip warned that the sector's sewage system would soon collapse. The continual power outages for extended periods of time have meant that the pumps used for wastewater discharge in all areas are being placed under tremendous strain.
The breakdown of the sewage plant in the sector's headquarters of Gaza City is the first instance and the beginning of the entire system's collapse. Gaza City is home to a large portion of the population and the plant receives more than 50% of the drainage water from all its houses.
The general director of environmental health, Abdul-Rahim Abu Al Ghembz, warned that the breakdown of sanitation plants will inevitably lead to the spread of many infectious diseases which constitutes a major threat to the lives of the 1.5 million inhabitants of Gaza.
The build-up of sewage in the streets and particularly between the houses has caused the spread of worms and numerous other parasites which further aggravate the already critical medical and health situation in Gaza . There is now a real fear over the full scale outbreak of an epidemic.
The absence of a quick solution to this problem and its far reaching effects puts more than just Gazans at risk. This situation has necessitated an increase in the waste water and sewage being exported to the beaches and discharged into the Mediterranean. This will eventually constitute a grave threat to lives of holidaymakers.
MEMO Photographer: Mohammed Asad