Electricity crisis in Gaza; how ActionAid is responding

Since mid-April 2017, Gaza has been suffering the effects of an electricity crisis that has seen the mains electricity supply cut to an average of 6 hours per day, in some areas reaching as low as 2-4 hours per day.  

The crisis is having a huge impact on the daily lives of Gaza’s 2 million inhabitants, whose resilience has been eroded by a 10 year land, air and sea blockade imposed by the government of Israel.

Hospitals have been forced to reduce their services to critical care only, and shortages of power and of fuel to operate water and wastewater treatment facilities means many families are running low on water for domestic use.

“We don’t have enough electricity to light our homes or to operate household appliances like fridges or washing machines, or enough water to take regular showers or flush toilets,” ActionAid’s Program Coordinator in Gaza, Yasser Toshtash, explained back in May.   

Vulnerable groups including people with disabilities, infants and children, and women, are most affected.  Soaring summer temperatures – reaching to the mid-30s (degrees) - are exacerbating people’s suffering. 

“We are all very stressed by the situation.  The children have more arguments because they are hot and my husband and I are arguing more because we are frustrated”, shares Mokaram Abu Hozaiyan from Middle Area, Gaza. 

ActionAid Palestine, together with our local partner organisation Al Aqsa Sports Club, is responding to the crisis by providing diesel to power 6 water and 2 sewage pumps in West Nuseirat and Al Mughragah, both located in Middle Area, Gaza.  The response will benefit approximately 50,000 people for a period of 3 months from August 2017.

We are also linking with other actors in Gaza to draw attention to the situation and advocate for an end to both the current crisis as well as the ongoing blockade, which violates international law and denies Palestinians in Gaza their fundamental human rights.