ACTNews, GAZA – Roaring wind and heavy rain dominate Gaza’s weather in recent weeks. Cold unstoppably encloses Gaza, where the temperature drops to 10 degree Celsius. In this condition, who wouldn’t want to be inside a warm, comfortable house?
It seems simple to just be able to take shelter from rain and cold weather in a room with adequate heating. However, this seemingly simple thing has become a luxury for the residents of Gaza, trying to survive winter in limited circumstances.
This limitation is due to the power shortage. Usually, the electricity ran for four to six hours daily. But in this winter, the electricity running time is cut down.
According to an ACT's partner living in Gaza, the heavy rain and the strong wind lead to power cut in Gaza Strip. The power shortage in Gaza makes the heating system unable to work. During this time, the residents of Gaza have to survive in the cold weather that makes them numb.
Additionally, because their houses were damaged, the rain is often leaking inside their houses.
“The walls and the roofs are full of holes. When the rain and the wind came, they had to drain the water from their houses while trying to endure the chilling weather because there’s no heating system,” said Ahmad Najjar*, an ACT's partner who lives in Gaza.
According to Najjar, the cold weather with high precipitation rate has been felt since late November 2017. In North Gaza, the residents even had to collect some firewood as an alternative heater in their houses.
In the third week of January, the winter aid once again reached poor families throughout Gaza Strip. This time, gas-fueled portable heaters were given to every needy Gaza family. These heaters can be used to warm themselves when the electricity is cut off for many hours.
Andi Noor Faradiba, from Global Humanity Response team, stated that in order to reach the poor families, ACT worked with local volunteers. These heaters were given to 400 families who are in dire need for room heaters for their houses.
“Alhamdulillah, from Thursday (18/1) to Saturday (20/1), the heater aid has been distributed gradually to 400 needy families in Gaza. The distribution of this winter aid is to complement the aid that had already been given last November. Before this, an aid in the form of sweaters and blankets have been distributed to many families and children in Jabaliya, northern Gaza,” explained Faradiba.
Ahmad Najjar, who supervised the distribution of the winter aid, described the immense gratitude felt by the people of Gaza. They can use the gas-fueled heaters when the power is cut off. For some of them, this winter aid is another aid that they receive from ACT and the people of Indonesia.
“They are very thankful to the people of Indonesia for the unending assistance,” said Najjar.
To this day, the humanitarian aid for the people of Gaza is still continuously given. This donation is an addition to the food, clean water, and health care that were given in Gaza some time ago. Insha Allah, a massive donation in the form of 10.000 tons of rice will be shipped through Humanitarian Ship for Palestine soon.