PCHR warns of a humanitarian disaster due to Gaza siege

[ PIC 08/11/2013 – 10:46 AM ]


GAZA, (PIC)– The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) expressed in a statement deep concern over the deterioration of humanitarian conditions of the civilian population due to the aggravation of the electricity crisis in the Gaza Strip.

PCHR is deeply concerned that the current crisis may impact the access of 1.7 million Palestinians to vital services, including the supply of drinking water, and that this crisis may result in the suspension of work in some vital sectors, such as health, sanitation and education, according to the statement.

According to PCHR’s follow-up of the chronic power crisis in the Gaza Strip, the Palestinian Energy Authority in Gaza announced that the operation of the Gaza Power plant was totally stopped on Friday morning, 01 November 2012.

PCHR confirmed that the shutdown of the Gaza plant power has left serious consequences on the humanitarian conditions of the Gaza Strip’s population due to the deficit in daily needs of power in Gaza. The Electricity Distribution Company (GEDCO) in Gaza was forced to increase the hours of power outages on houses and vital facilities from 8 to 12 hours daily.

PCHR is deeply concerned over further deterioration of civilians’ humanitarian conditions as the power crisis has affected all civilians’ daily life needs and violated their right to access to basic and necessary services, including access to health facilities and to treatment, access to educational institutions, including schools and universities, and access to water services, including drinking water in homes and all other vital services, the statement added.

“About 1.7 million inhabitants of the Gaza Strip are facing deficiencies in all walks of their daily life, which have affected their basic needs, including health services, access to water, environmental health services and ability to meet the educational needs of school and university students.”

The center warned of the deterioration of health conditions in the health facilities of the Gaza Strip due to inability to compensate the shortage of electricity for long hours on the one hand, and their inability to provide fuel needed to run the alternative generators in these facilities on the other hand, in addition to breakdown of many machines and medical equipment at hospitals and health facilities of the Gaza Strip.

The statement pointed out to hundreds of patients in the hospitals of the Gaza Strip face serious health risks as the medical equipment are not run regularly, especially in the intensive care units and other medical units like heart and kidney units.

PCHR said that local bodies, including municipalities and village councils, are unable to provide alternative fuel to ensure the workflow of their vital facilities serving the population of the Gaza Strip, including water and sanitation facilities. Citizens’ complaints started to resound because of their inability to get water in their houses, especially in high buildings.

Different bakeries in the Gaza Strip said that they partially stopped working due to the long hours of power outage and the shortage of the fuel needed to run the machines. One can notice overcrowding for long hours in front of bakeries in order to get the basic needs, PCHR’s statement said.

Educational facilities in universities and educational institutions are suffering serious disorder, which led to the inactivity of many educational laboratories and the postponement of some educational assignments due to electricity shortage and lack of alternative power sources.

The aggravation of electricity crisis has coincided with the mid-term exams that started about a week ago in the schools and universities of the Gaza Strip. The majority of governmental schools is still without electricity and cannot provide the students with alternatives, the statement added.

Hundreds of institutions and associations in the Gaza Strip had to postpone their activities and programs due to the electricity shortage all day and their inability to provide alternative power sources to run their machines and equipment.

The suffering of the population of the Gaza Strip has seriously aggravated, especially those living in high buildings and who depend on elevators in the ascending and descending from their apartments. Dozens of residents, including elderly people and patients with chronic diseases have been greatly affected.


Click to go to the report and link to full PDF for download

Click to go to the report and link to full PDF for download

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