Gaza's Rafah Overwhelmed By Waste As Municipal Services Halt Amid Conflict

(MENAFN- Nam News Network) GAZA, Apr 19 (NNN-WAFA) – Every day, Emad Adul Rahman, a 45-year-old father of four in Rafah, southern Gaza, has to take on a two-kilometre trek, to get rid of his home waste.

Since the conflict between Israel and Hamas began last Oct, municipal services in the southernmost city of the Palestinian enclave have come to a halt.

“For many months, we have not received any services... the garbage and sewage were accumulated in most of our areas,” said Rahman.

The approach of summer only intensifies the issue, as rising temperatures amplify the odours from refuse heaps, making the densely populated city, which shelters over 1.5 million refugees, increasingly uninhabitable.

The city's streets, littered with debris, have become breeding grounds for disease. Children, oblivious to the dangers, play among the waste, while the pervasive stench of decay permeates the refugee camps. To cope, residents resort to burning trash, contributing further to air pollution.

“My kids were infected with various diseases... all the doctors told me that I have to live far away from the garbage, but I do not have any other living place,” Rahman lamented.

The plight is even more acute for Samah al-Hajj, a Rafah resident and recent amputee. The 39-year-old mother of three, who lost her husband and two children in an Israeli airstrike, now faces the added challenge of managing waste with her disability.“I cannot dispose of my garbage easily,” al-Hajj stated, her condition worsened by the refuse surrounding her home.

“I survived the Israeli bombing, but I fear dying from the diseases this garbage leaves behind... We are dying slowly in Gaza, unnoticed,” she said, her voice laden with despair.

The plight of Rahman and al-Hajj is but a glimpse into the larger crisis that grips Gaza, where refuse piles are as much a part of the landscape as the rubble of conflict.

The Israeli restrictions have forced the municipal authority to halt waste management, leaving the region teetering on the brink of an environmental and health catastrophe. Salama Maarouf, head of the Hamas-run government media office, warns of the impending disaster.

“Gaza Strip is exposed to unprecedented health problems and environmental pollution,” Maarouf warned.

The waste has“become a fertile environment for the breeding of flies, mosquitoes, insects, and harmful reptiles,” he said, urging the world to take heed of Gaza's silent emergency.– NNN-WAFA


Nam News Network

Legal Disclaimer:
MENAFN provides the information “as is” without warranty of any kind. We do not accept any responsibility or liability for the accuracy, content, images, videos, licenses, completeness, legality, or reliability of the information contained in this article. If you have any complaints or copyright issues related to this article, kindly contact the provider above.