Palestinians who were warned by Israel to leave their houses and fled to southern Gaza are currently waiting in line for hours to obtain the contaminated water that they fear is making them sick. Israel has warned them to abandon their homes.
As a result of Israel’s restrictions on water and power, long lines of people waiting to fill jerry cans are now a common sight across the region. This is because water is becoming increasingly limited as a direct result of these restrictions.
According to the United Nations, none of the water pipes that run from Israel into Gaza are functioning properly, and a pipe that runs between the southern cities of Rafah and Khan Younis is leaking.
A teacher by the name of Eman Basher commented on X (formerly known as Twitter) that her children had been sick ever since they had to leave their home in Gaza City.
“I always assumed that stomach flu was the normal result of sleeping on the floor or change in weather, just to learn that it is caused by contaminated water we drink every day and queue for hours to get,” said Basher. “My kids have been suffering from stomach flu with symptoms including abdominal cramps, vomiting, and diarrhoea.” “My kids have been suffering from stomach flu with symptoms including vomiting and diarrhoea.”
“We’ve been drinking this water for the past 15 days and fighting to get it,” she added.
The United Nations estimates that Gaza is currently meeting barely 5% of its water requirements. The water contained within the assistance shipments that arrived from Egypt on Wednesday was sufficient to provide 15,000 individuals with a single day’s supply. Over one and a half million people have been forced to relocate within the region.
Some residents in the southern part of the region have been getting their water supply from desalination facilities, although these plants are only working at a capacity of forty percent of their total capability. The factories in northern Gaza are currently inoperable.
It is being done in an effort to alleviate some of the burden by drawing water from wells, however the water that is being drawn has a somewhat high salt concentration.
Maysoun Owda, a refugee who has been taking shelter in the United Nations school in Khan Younis, stated that the majority of the water in the strip is dirty. People living in the shelters drink contaminated water because there is no clean water available and the UN agency that helps Palestinian refugees does not offer it.
Izzeddin Jarbou, a Palestinian who resides in the southern part of Gaza, was quoted as saying the following: “People go to any place they think might have water, and they wait for hours in long queues until they are able to find water that is safe to drink and wash with. ”
“We pay money for water, we pay to move it to our homes, but a lot of people aren’t able to,” he added. “We pay money to move it to our homes.”
Since Israel began its blockade of Gaza in 2007, residents of the strip have had a difficult time gaining access to clean drinking water, and the region’s groundwater sources have become contaminated as a result of excessive consumption. However, things have gotten far worse since Israel increased the intensity of their blockade of Gaza in response to Hamas’ attacks a month ago.
As a result of a scarcity of fuel, desalination facilities have been unable to operate at full capacity, which has also reduced the capability to pump water to households and transport it on trucks. Due to a lack of fuel, sewage treatment plants have not been running, which has resulted in effluent being discharged into the sea and further damaging the coastal aquifer.
This past week, James Elder, who works for the United Nations agency for children known as Unicef, stated to the media that many individuals were only able to obtain.
“Gaza’s water production capacity is only 5% of its normal daily output,” the United Nations said in a report. He stated that there is a growing danger of dehydration leading to the death of children, particularly infants.
Elder asked, “What are we to do if there is no ceasefire, no water, no medicine, and no release of the children who have been kidnapped?” “Then we careen toward even more unspeakable atrocities that will befall defenseless children”.