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Gaza electricity crisis threatens clean water services

Boys walk through floodwater due to the insufficient infrastructure system after heavy rainfall in Khan Yunis, Gaza on February 15, 2017. ( Ali Jadallah - Anadolu Agency )

In light of the severe electricity crisis clean water and sewage services in the Gaza Strip are suffering which is ultimately affecting residents of the besieged enclave, Quds Press reported yesterday.

Gaza residents only have four hours of electricity every day, sometimes every two days.

Speaking to Quds Press, Gaza resident Hussam Mustafa, 42, said that he has only had electricity in his house twice in the last month. “The situation is very hard,” he said.

“It is unbearable that a household remains without water for more than a week. Sometimes we are obliged to buy water with tankers for use in the house.”

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General Director of Water and Waste Water in Gaza Maher Salem said in a statement issued yesterday that the basic facilities of the municipality, including water and sewage plants, are experiencing serious problems due to the continuous electricity cut.

“However, we exert a lot of effort to keep them working,” he said, “but they are out of service for long periods of time because of the electricity shortages and high price of fuel used for the electricity generators that keep them working.”

He noted that the main water plants are working to full capacity but the minor plants distributed in the neighbourhoods and suburbs are almost not working because they “need a huge amount of fuel to keep running”.

This poses problems for multi-story houses in particular as there is not enough electricity for the pumps to operate and water regularly does not reach them.

Oxfam have called the crisis “an illegal punishment on the entire nation”.

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