Palestinians in the Gaza Strip are suffering a fuel crisis which has now entered in its fifth month, causing extended power outages that significantly impacts the lives, health and livelihood of Gaza’s 1.6 million residents.
The Gaza Power Plant produced electricity at less than 30 per cent of capacity in April, causing severe disruption to basic services, including water, health and sanitation, Al Jazeera reported.
Coastal Municipal Water Utility (CMWU) noted that the situation is critical, with up to 40 per cent of the 1.6 million population under blockade getting water in their houses only once every four days, PNN reported.
Spokesman for the health ministry Ashraf Al-Qudra earlier warned that medical work in Gaza hospitals is still endangered by the power crisis and there is not sufficient fuel even to operate their emergency generators in the coming days.
The fuel crisis has also affected the fishing industry, already crippled by restricted access to Gaza’s fishing waters imposed by Israel’s siege.
The Palestinian enclave usually depends on fuel smuggled in from Egypt, but the power facility has run out. Gaza is under a sea and land blockade imposed by Israel, which prevents regular shipments of power to the area, Al Jazeera reported.
Although the Qatari Government sent 30 million litres of fuel to ease the crisis months ago, Israel and Egypt have prevented its entry into Gaza, and it still sits in reservoirs in the Port of Suez, although Israel last week approved Egypt to transport it to Gaza, according to Haaretz.
Apart from the significant impact on daily life such as incapability to use computers, the spoiling of food, the power cuts have also resulted in several deaths and many injuries, explosion of generators, and the failure of life-saving medical and surgical equipment which depend on electricity.