Posts Tagged Seige

In Gaza Electricity is a Rationed Luxury

Posted by on Wednesday, 1 August, 2012

Ahmed Abul Amreen, head of Palestinian Energy and National Resources Authorities (PENRA) information office, said that the Israelis allowed 400,000 litres of Qatari fuel to enter to Gaza, which helped in operating three more generators in the only Gaza power plant in the Gaza Strip.

“Electricity conditions will improve as long as the Qatari fuel enters Gaza,” he added. Otherwise Power cuts may increase, the PENRA’s official warned, and power the crisis will not end, even though 10 trucks carry fuel to Gaza daily.

Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh, said that the Egyptian President, Mohammed Morsi, agreed on improving the living conditions in the Gaza Strip.

Both Haniyah and Morsi agreed on increasing work hours in the Rafah Crossing up to 12 hours a day. They both agreed on allowing 1500 Gazan departures to travel through Egypt per day and an additional agreement was made on increasing the numbers of trucks carrying the Qatari fuel into Gaza from six up to ten every day.

Ahmed Abul Amreen, head of Palestinian Energy and National Resources Authorities (PENRA) information office, said that the Israelis allowed 400,000 litres of Qatari fuel to enter to Gaza, which helped in operating three more generators in the only Gaza power plant in the Gaza Strip.

“Electricity conditions will improve as long as the Qatari fuel enters Gaza,” he added. Otherwise Power cuts may increase, the PENRA’s official warned, and power the crisis will not end, even though 10 trucks carry fuel to Gaza daily.

Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh, said that the Egyptian President, Mohammed Morsi, agreed on improving the living conditions in the Gaza Strip.

Both Haniyah and Morsi agreed on increasing work hours in the Rafah Crossing up to 12 hours a day. They both agreed on allowing 1500 Gazan departures to travel through Egypt per day and an additional agreement was made on increasing the numbers of trucks carrying the Qatari fuel into Gaza from six up to ten every day.

A scene taking place everyday all over Gaza. People queing up in the hopes of getting a few litres of petrol before it runs out again. Petrol is used for cars and for running tiny personal generators that many Gazans use to supply a bit of electricity to their home because the Gaza Power plant cannot function properly due to being partially destroyed and the siege

Gaza Under-Powered

No`man Al Khuzondar is the guard of a seven-story residential building in the Tal Al Hawa neighborhood of Gaza City. He is in his twenties, thin, and new to the job. As he was picking up the trash bags outside an apartment in the morning and carrying them downstairs, he said with a low voice, “You know, I have been working here for a few months now and never complained. Electricity cuts were never something new; it’s been 6 years of scheduled power cuts after all. But, this month… this month has really been rough.” Complaining about (literally) the extra weight on his shoulders, he continued, “I knew when power would be on and when it would be out. At least half of the week I could collect the trash bags and bring them downstairs using the elevator. Now, I have to go to every apartment, four on each floor, take the trash, and carry it downstairs myself and come back upstairs for the rest.”

Collecting trash bags is not No`man’s only job; he is also responsible for the comfort of the residents and handling water pumping into the apartments, something that has been for the first time a problem for those living in Gaza. Whereas the problem of water has always mainly been one of water pollution, with the lack of water desalination plants and only 5% of Gaza’s water being suitable for consumption, this time access to whatever water that is available has become severely restricted.

“Where on earth am I supposed to get electricity? If it goes out 12-18 hours a day, how am I supposed to pump the water up into the tanks during my work hours? If someone can’t find water to cook, to take a shower, to flush the toilet, or to even brush their teeth, they come to me. Well, I am having the same problem myself! All I can do is fill dozens of bottles when electricity is on and distribute them for use when there is no water.” he added, cheerlessly.

According to OCHA, the shortage of electricity in the Gaza Strip dates back to June 2006, when the Israeli Air Force destroyed all six transformers at the sole Gaza Power Plant during an air strike. Five months later, the power plant resumed production, but at a significantly reduced level. The imposition of the Israeli blockade and the restrictions on imports exacerbated the already dire energy situation, and forced the people of Gaza to turn to underground tunnels for trade and access to fuel and power generators more than anything else in the Gaza market. On February, 14, 2012, the Gaza power plant shut down after Egypt cut fuel supplies through the tunnels, and since then the power plant has shut down three times, leaving Gaza facing up to 18 hours of power cuts per day, a disruption of almost all aspects of daily life.

Gazans’ que up for miles at petrol stations, fuel restrictions mean the quantities per person are small due to rationing. Even with rationing the Petrol stations run out before everyone is served. you can que for 24 hours and end up with nothing.

Cars que up for miles in the hopes of getting a few litres of petrol before it runs out again.

All of these problems relating to the electricity and fuel shortage do not even scratch the surface. While the water, sanitation, refrigeration, education, and daily life of ordinary people in Gaza have been affected by the crisis, key issues such as hospitals, health and mental health remain most important of all.

source:
IMEU
EI
alresalah