Flooding, yet Another Disaster to Hit Gaza


Sudan Events – Sumaya Sayed

Heavy rains created new misery in Gaza as UN humanitarians repeated deep concerns on Thursday over the deteriorating health situation in the Strip, amid ongoing Israeli bombardment and fighting with Palestinian armed groups.
UN humanitarian affairs coordination office OCHA said that many areas in the enclave have been flooded, “worsening the struggle of displaced Palestinians”, while UNRWA chief Philippe Lazzarini was due to brief journalists in Geneva on the situation on Thursday, following his most recent visit to Gaza.
Almost 1.9 million people in the enclave have been uprooted by the violence and more than half have sought safety in the southern town of Rafah. UN Palestine refugee agency (UNRWA) shelters in the south of the Strip are nine times over capacity and scores of people live outdoors, exposed to the harsh weather, or in makeshift shelters.
OCHA said that in the overcrowded shelters, sewage cannot be managed. Combined with the flooding and the accumulation of waste, the conditions have attracted insects, mosquitoes and rats, further compounding risks of disease spread.
Earlier this week the Gaza health authorities said that they had documented 360,000 cases of infectious diseases in shelters and that the actual numbers could be higher.
Meanwhile on Wednesday humanitarian partners providing water, sanitation and hygiene support to Gaza’s population reported an urgent need for construction materials to fix damaged water pipelines.
“Inability to provide repairs could result in water being cut off from certain areas in the south of Gaza”, OCHA said.

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