I was postponing this post thinking that the recent electricity crisis in Gaza will be resolved shortly after Gaza makes the headlines for couple days. However, for the 5th consecutive day Gaza is sinking in the dark for shameful reasons related to political rivalry between Hamas and the PA. Read more about the dispute.
Power crises occur in Gaza mostly due to Israel preventing the fuel shipments from entering the Strip as a means of collective punishment . And as usuall after making the news “Gaza in the dark”, the EU, the UN ,or whatsoever “make” Israel allow some very small shipments of fuels to the ill power plant.
This time our international “benefactors” are washing their hands from the crisis. The Director of the UNRWA, Jonh Ging, says: “It’s an unbearable situation here at the moment, and it needs to be solved very quickly. It’s a Palestinian problem, made by Palestinians, and causing Palestinian suffering. So let’s have a Palestinian solution,”
So, till Hamas and the PA decide to solve their problems ,which I can not fathom, WE, the Gazans, the ordinary people, will suffer the consequences of this strangling crisis.
Calculating the shifts
Now that the sole power plant of Gaza has stopped operating, Gaza is left with the only supplier of power which comes from Israel. This resource is not enough to cover the growing need of electricity for one of most populated places in the world. As a result, the power comes only four to six hours a day.
So, if one wants to do the math, the power comes at 6 am, for instance, it goes off again at 12 pm, then it comes back again at 12 am. And There is nothing more dull in the world than watching the clock waiting for the power to light up your day!
It is important to mention though that before the recent crisis, the electricity shifts were not much better. Instead of getting six hours of power a day, households were given twelve hours only. A normal day with 24 hours of electricity …remain too much to ask.
Gazans as always find their humble and often risky ways to cope up with the endless obstacles they face. Power generators are problematic solution, while they solve some of the problems, they cause many others.
Most of the buildings have purchased a generator, Gaza has become like one giant factory. These power generators are risky; their chocking gas emanations can cause many respiratory deceases . To add insult to the injury, their chugging like noises are deafening. Walking in the street has become torture: noise, pollution and the hot weather, you go home like you’ve working in some chimney sweeper!
Many incidents occurred where people were killed or hurt because of these generators.
But it is hard now to imagine life in Gaza without these generators, though they are not human or environment friendly, they still make things a little bit easier for Gazans. Not to mention, it has become a thriving trade to many.
Often when these shortages last for long period, the biggest losers are the health and the environment sectors. The brittle sewage system in Gaza is on the verge of collapsing leaving Gaza in a power, health and environmental crisis. As the report mentions:
“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.”
This is not the first time that Gaza finds itself drawing in the dark, as a matter of fact it is a reoccurring theme to life in Gaza. Though there are some reports talking about an end for the current power crisis, the problem of electricity, no matter who was/is and will be behind it, will not be resolved by generating some temporal sympathy that leads to temporal solution by letting some small shipments of fuels into the Strip . Nor will be solved by Gazans purchasing some malignant power generators that will generate more problems in the long term.
The only solution is considering those who are suffering from occupation, siege, and dehumanization, humans who deserve to live in dignity.
And so far politicians are failing to see the humanity of the Palestinians in Gaza.
The photo is taken from أحزان شجر البطاطا blog.