Al Mezan published a fact sheet that addresses the deteriorating living conditions in the Gaza Strip as a result of Israel’s 14-year blockade and recent punitive measures, notably the ban on fuel entry to the Strip, and their repercussions on the provision of municipal services, particularly water and sanitation. In addition, the fact sheet sheds light on the struggle of low-income families to access alternative sources of water to offset the intermittent supply of municipal water amid a full lockdown imposed on Gaza to fight the spread of COVID-19, which further exacerbated these families’ financial troubles.
The presented information are based on a comprehensive survey of municipalities in the Gaza Strip conducted by Al Mezan last year as well as a series of phone interviews carried out in the last two weeks with a number of mayors to better understand the impact of the lockdown and the power crisis on provision of municipal services, particularly water and sanitation. Al Mezan also interviewed (by phone) a number of families from various parts of the Gaza Strip that are struggling to secure their basic needs, including water, under the lockdown.
Al Mezan is deeply concerned for the population’s health and wellbeing, in particular the impoverished populations in Gaza amid the declining municipal services and COVID-19 outbreak, and calls on:
The Palestinian Authority and concerned agencies, NGOs and international bodies to mobilize support for residents of the Gaza Strip, whose lives are threatened by the unprecedented coronavirus outbreak, and to improve the living conditions in Gaza and support the Strip’s municipalities;
The international community to exert pressure on Israel, the occupying power, to immediately and unconditionally lift the blockade and closure and cease all punitive measures; and
The Gaza Electricity Distribution Corporation (GEDC) to liaise with the municipalities to ensure water supply that is more regular and efficient to households, and prioritize the provision of power supply to municipal wells and networks to better equip residents with the amounts and quality of water necessary to fight the COVID-19 outbreak.