Gaza is Drowning

News and Press Release
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In a painful scene, hundreds of families in Gaza stand in lines waiting for their turn to get a ride in rescue boats back to the flooded homes they were forced to evacuate.

Alaae El Jadbaa and her one-year-old child are among the evacuees. She left her home two days ago after an unprecedented rainfall brought floods that covered her house. She had to flee to a nearby school to spend the night with no food, clothes or blankets. Alaae was waiting in line with many others to go back to her house to salvage whatever belongings she could. Sadly, though, when she got back to her house she couldn’t go in, as it is still totally submerged. She had to return to the school.

“I left everything I own at home. My only concern was how to get out safely with my son. My neighbors and I made many calls and finally I was evacuated by crane! It was scary, but at least we are safe now,” Alaae said.

The mix of rainwater and sewage drowned her whole Gaza City neighborhood in filth and dirt. The first floors of most of the neighborhood buildings are completely covered. Bad smells and cold temperatures permeate the atmosphere, as rescue boats move around to trapped families delivering food and filling empty jugs with clean drinking water.

More than 10,000 persons have been evacuated from their homes as a result of the flooding. The most affected areas are Gaza City and northern Gaza, where farmlands and greenhouses in the most fertile agricultural region have also been destroyed or degraded.

ANERA’s Response to the Flooding in Gaza

After doing some preliminary assessments of need, ANERA’s staff in Gaza are responding immediately in the following areas:

•Providing household cleaning kits filled with supplies that will help people get their homes back to normal when they return.

•Restoring the many damaged greenhouses and farmlands overcome by the floods. For many, their entire livelihoods were wiped out.

•Fixing broken and overflowing sewage systems. The already overburdened sanitation systems have been hit hard.

American Near East Refugee Aid
To learn more about ANERA, please visit http://www.anera.org/.