The long waited cold has finally arrived to the Middle East. Storms of rain, snow and dust is hitting the region unexpectedly. Gaza’s cold, however, is rainless, dusty, and icy as if it mirrors the state of this territory.
This extreme weather conditions are affecting the Strip badly. After two days of severe sand storms, damages in infrastructure, the sea port and houses are reported across coastal enclave.
Between the tins and the self
Winter is my favorite time of the year; being wrapped with a warm blanket, sipping hot or cold drinks, enjoying the sight of rare rain drops is soothing and comforting to me. But, this indulgence is not shared by many families who live in tin houses and makeshift camps.
Just across the street from where I live, a derelict building made of cement blocks roofed by fragmented pieces of tin fixed by scattered blocks. This type of housing is wide spread across Gaza specially in poor neighborhood.
Too hot in summer, too cold in winter, leaking water, proper environment for breeding rats and bugs; the conditions of these shacks-like are inhumane by all the measures of the word.
Families living in tins suffer from severely bad health conditions. Deceases like diarrhea, flu and respiratory problems are constant as a result.
Yet, with no housing policy (even if there were any plans to improve the quality of these houses, lack of construction materials would halt it) ,and with stifling tough economic situation, the number of families forced to make a home of these dingy houses is on the rise.
In the wake of the past storms and cold, Gazans living in tins are the most vulnerable. Fragile in the face of these extreme weather conditions, these roofs of tin are often blown by the wind.
Poor families depend on charity organizations to provide them with blankets, and temporal nylon covers since tin is more expensive and more scarce due to the siege.
Gaza braces itself in all seasons. Summer and winter rotate roles, but the same conditions of poverty worsening with the siege leave Palestinians in Gaza with no choice but to inure.
For more on the topic watch the Press TV report on makeshift camps.