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Jan-11-2017 01:23printcomments

Gaza's Lack of Electricity, a Problem With No End in Sight

Electricity is turned on for 4 hours and then cut off for 20 hours every day.

gaza electricity
Families face the difficulties of minimal electricity.
Photo: facebook.com/GWEWWG

(GAZA STRIP) - The Gazan people are suffering from many obstacles. For instance, industry is limited, in fact there is next to nothing, and trade depends only on the tunnels.

Unemployment has reached its highest level in history. Another obstacle is electricity which is only available for about four hours each day.

In general, it is difficult to describe the challenges in life that affect the people in Gaza.

The electricity problem as one can imagine, affects every aspect of a Gazan’s life. This daily problem impacts houses, hospitals, water, schools, clinics, sanitation facilities and people including doctors, engineers, teachers, workers, craftsmen and housewives.

These dynamics increase psychological pressure on human beings of all ages. Hope remains because anything is possible but the lack of electricity creates serious problems.

People cannot adapt when there is no life to live... like the child if he does not have milk will die, and in brief, that is Gaza.

At night, while the electricity is cut off, it is so dark you cannot see your hand in front of your face. It is like a cemetery full of graves. People live, see, talk, and listen like the blind and deaf, always under the shadow of darkness.

If you are walking down the street alone and you faint, no one will find you until the morning because the streets are like the bare deserts, blacker than the black of night, and no one can see who is walking.

It is a serious problem for students, whether they are in kindergarten, grade school or university. They cannot study without electricity, while it is so dark at night. Most students have homework and research to do. Without electricity, they cannot achieve their daily tasks.

Sometimes they try to study by candle light but unfortunately, these candles have killed dozens of Gaza children.

Children sometimes forget to blow the flames out, catching their beds or mats on fire, and tragically burn down the whole house.

Sometimes these fires kill one or more member of the family. This has happened in Gaza many times. I witnessed such a story one time where three children passed away in a fire that began with a burning candle. They were sitting in their beds and the candle was lit.

Their older sister was preparing food for them. After she had finished preparing the food she came back to be with her brothers and her sister. She saw the conflagration, as it burned the innocent bodies of her siblings.

She tried to rescue them, but in the end she also died in the fire when she entered the room to rescue the children.

The schedule of the electricity means it is turned on for 4 hours and then cut off for 20 hours every day.

Sometimes the electricity is even turned off during the 4 hours it should be on. This causes great stress, and brings curses to be on everyone’s tongues.

You know, people who own a market or a shop have to turn on the power from generators, which have a nice calming sound, like romantic music... far away from the dust it causes and the noise which is like an airplane drone. At the same time, you cannot sleep either from the background sound of generators and from the darkness.

I think having electricity only 4 hours a day would not even be enough time for a child to play computer games in most countries, so what about us??


Shadi M. Salem lives in Gaza, a strip of Palestinian land that is surrounded by Israel, Egypt to the south, and the Mediterranean Sea. He attended Beit Lahia Secondary School and later studied English at the Islamic University of Gaza.

Shadi believes it is imperative that the world understand the difficulty facing people in Gaza and all of Palestine. He says his primary role is supporting the independence of his country, Palestine.


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Paul January 11, 2017 9:35 am (Pacific time)

All that information on the strife in Gaza but not one mention of Hamas, their oppression of Gaza, their terrorism or their role in the crisis of Gaza. Bias much?

 EDITOR: One article can only encapsulate so much information. This story is about lack of electricity, and that is something Israel is directly responsible for, not Hamas. We will have other articles where we discuss the wrongful deaths and other crimes committed by Hamas against Palestinians accused of collaborating with Israel, but that would be off topic here. Thank you for your insight, and please watch for future coverage.

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Sean Flynn was a photojournalist in Vietnam, taken captive in 1970 in Cambodia and never seen again.