Gazans Agonize as Their Lives Rely on Waste Food

Zeyad and Manal Oda's family lives in poverty at a landfill, Khan Younis. They have no choice but to consume food they found in the trash to survive.

Gaza Crisis.
Manal Oda family uses food materials found at the landfill to be consumed. (ACTNews)

ACTNews, GAZA – Gaza's hot wheather did not stop Zeyad's steps. With his thin sandals, Zeyad walked slowly through a pile of garbage at the landfills (TPA) in Khan Younis, southern Gaza. He was carrying a used cardboard box, his head turned to the left and right observing piles of garbage. He was looking for waste fruits or vegetables that could still be consumed.

Zeyad usually collects potatoes, onions, and tomatoes from the landfill. Waste food which for some people is trash has become valuable goods for Zeyad. He will put the collected food ingredients in a box, and take them back to his house around the landfill area.

Zeyad then asked his wife, Manal Mohammad Joma'an Oda to process the collected food to be served to the whole family. In general, that is the couple’s daily activity in obtaining food for their family.

Gaza's shattered economic condition has made it difficult for the family to find a job. As a result, they have no income and it is difficult for them to buy proper food. "I live in a landfill. I literally live with garbage," said Oda when ACT Palestine team met him at his abode.

Living in a landfill area causes Zeyad and Oda’s family to suffer a lot. During the dry season, they have to deal with a bunch of insects even venomous animals such as snakes and scorpions often occur at their house.

“On the other hand, during winter, this location will be inundated with garbage water that will enter our house. We can't even find a place to sleep," said Oda while wiping her tears with her long hijab.

Furthermore, the family also faces another struggle since Zeyad also suffers from diabetes and retinal bleeding. Therefore, Oda must spend more money to buy insulin. Zeyad must regularly receive insulin injections to prevent his diabetes from getting worse.

"My two children are still at a young age. I don't want anything but only the welfare of my children. Their father and I are sick. In the future, who will take care of them," said Oda.

Responding to the condition of Zeyad and Oda’s family, ACT Palestine team has chosen their family as one of the beneficiaries of ACT’s Sister Family Palestine Indonesia program. Through this assistance, Oda’s family will receive regular assistance in the form of food and clean water.

Insha Allah, with the benefactors’ best assistance, ACT also hopes to provide business capital assistance hence the family can be freed from the cycle of poverty,” hoped Said Mukaffiy from ACT’s Global Humanity Response, Saturday (10/2/2021).[]