Gaza without electricity

Gaza’s Electricity Cuts: Living in Darkness in every single word

Jameel Saleem flipped on the light switch, and there was nothing. No Electricity.… His younger brother Ahmad is shouting: “is the electricity back on”? “Noo”, Jameel replies with tender, Ahmad: “then when will it be”?

It’s more likely of a mystery to figure out and that’s what people are going through on daily basis in Gaza. Two million Palestinians in Gaza are literally living in darkness in every single word.

Candlelight or mobile phone, for the lucky ones who charged their phones while there was electricity, of course...

This will be your situation if you are a resident of the Gaza Strip and you want to do any daily work such as cooking your food in light of the continuing high temperatures and power outages except for limited hours.
Even if you can cook in the dark, you may not be able to keep the rest of your food in the fridge because of the high costs of the electric generators that more than half a million people in Gaza cannot afford.
And if you exceed the two problems above, then you have a more deadly psychological problem, as 94% of the Gaza Strip residents reported that their mental health was affected by the bad electricity situation, according to a study by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

Historical information about Gaza’s power plant that you must know

 The only power plant Gaza had, the Israeli military bombed it in 2006. Since then, there is no permission to import parts to replace the damaged components under the blockade. But only parts to do temporary fixes to allow minimal level power plant functioning for a short time. The trials to decrease the power crisis by smuggling fuel from Egypt halted in 2013, the Israeli airstrikes destroyed the infrastructure and the distribution networks throughout Gaza in 2014. The shortage of fuel and the limitation on fuel importing has caused operating the power plant at less than one-third of its capacity and shutting it down regularly since 2017.

While Gaza’s electrical grid is linked with the Israeli system, Israel limits its sold power to Gaza. And existing power lines can only supply a fraction of Gaza’s total needs. Further limiting electricity in buildings, schools, factories, hospitals, and everywhere. Even roads are with no traffic lights.

Lived Stories by people in Gaza

“To study, we have to take advantage of the electricity, and be ready before it disappears again,” Ahmad said, the 17 years old student. While at schools there is no electricity to supply the required equipment and computer screens are blank most often. When teachers have other work to do, they need to ensure their laptops are fully charged or they need to work during hours when electricity is available.

“In winter, things are way worse, it’s so cold so we fire any unnecessary materials, we need heat we need to warm ourselves, “Ahmad added. “When I wash or clean clothes, water and electricity must be working. But electricity is only available for four hours so I have to delay any other work until I do the washing first,” Rajaa Moustafa said, the boy’s mother. Due to the need for electricity to pump water throughout pipes over 70% of Gaza households get water for only six to eight hours once every two to four days.

According to the Popular Committee For Ending Gaza Siege, with no electricity, 80 percent of factories in the Gaza Strip have shut down either partially or completely. And above 300,000 unemployed workers and thousands of jobless graduates making Gaza’s economy even worse. 

Hospitals’ functionality without a continuous supply of electricity

Hospitals’ functionality is increasingly jeopardized by electricity shortages and the rapidly declining United Nations coordinated fuel reserves required to run emergency generators during prolonged electricity cuts from the main grid. Moreover, current fuel reserves sustain critical hospital services for only a short time, depending on the number of hours of electricity cuts.

If no actual steps and no world wild cooperative happens these simple problems with hundreds more will keep raising leading many lives to death.

Ahmad Saleem and his friends studying for their school exams under the light of a candle. 

For so many times Hospitals’ Electricity has worked on its minimal capacity just to ensure the continuity of lives 

Unfortunately, many other Arab countries face the electricity problems such as Yemen and Syria.

In Yemen, only 41.7% of the population can access the electricity network, and only 22.8% is the estimated rural electrification. The power sector cannot maintain power production to meet the demands and constrains the country’s socio-economic development.

In Syria, since the war began in 2011, the electricity sector has been heaveally damaged. The electricity crisis appears to rise amid heatwave ravaging the country leaving Syrians without electricity for really long hours.

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