One million Palestinian children are living in dire and deteriorating conditions due to ongoing power shortages, with many celebrating Eid in the dark.
- Gaza struggling with just two to four hours of electricity per day.
- More than 700 schools struggling to function without electricity.
- Breakdown of health and emergency services putting children’s lives at risk.
- Water-borne diseases increasing because of power shortages.
- Environmental disaster due to untreated sewage.
- Children unable to sleep, study or play.
One million children in Gaza are living in dire conditions. Many celebrated Eid in the dark without electricity. A UN report in 2012 said Gaza would be unlivable by 2020. Save the Children considers Gaza to be unlivable now.
Save the Children urges Israel to lift the Gaza blockade and for Palestinian and Israeli authorities to provide basic services to the residents of Gaza. the international community has failed to react to the suffering of Palestinian children in Gaza. A decade of isolation had reduced power available to households to just eight hours per day. Now families are lucky if they get two hours of electricity per day. Far too many get nothing at all.
The power shortages are also affecting Gaza’s already crippled infrastructure. The shortening or suspension of sewage treatment cycles has led to increased levels of pollution and contamination of groundwater sources and the Mediterranean Sea, leaving more than 60% of the sea around Gaza contaminated with untreated sewage and over 90% of water sources too contaminated for human consumption.
For Gaza’s children, the power shortages mean they’re unable to:
- Have access to limited health and emergency services, putting lives at risk.
- Access clean drinking water, due to non-functioning desalination plants.
- Take regular baths/showers, due to non-functioning water pumps.
- Sleep at night, due to the summer heat.
- Concentrate at school, due to lack of sleep.
- Complete homework or play outside, due to the dark.
- Eat fresh and healthy food, due to lack of refrigeration.
The situation is particularly bad for 15-year-old Ali* who suffers from a form of cerebral palsy. His mother Yara* said:
“My son is dying in front of my eyes. He can’t sleep most nights, and suffers from continuous pain. We don’t have enough power to get his electric wheelchair and mattress fully charged. If his wheelchair doesn’t get charged, he suffers psychologically, as he sees people around him move and walk but he can’t. He feels depressed and often fights with other children. When the wheelchair runs out of battery, Ali becomes totally paralysed.”
“He also needs constant showers as he is wearing diapers, but there is no water. We don’t get water unless there is electricity. If I don’t change his diapers and wash him regularly he will suffer from skin rashes and other problems. We have not had any tap water for two days. I feel suffocated.”'
Read more: GAZA: 1 MILLION CHILDREN SUFFERING IN 'UNLIVABLE' CONDITIONS (a disgrace to humanity)