Jerusalem – International humanitarian agency Oxfam today warned that thousands of refugees across Gaza will face imminent cuts in water and sewage services if more fuel is not provided in the coming days and weeks.
Due to widespread fuel shortages, the Coastal Municipality Water Utility (CMWU) in Gaza was forced to halve the water supply on Wednesday from eight hours a day to four, affecting roughly 65,000 people in Gaza's biggest refugee camp. Oxfam rushed to purchase emergency fuel that yesterday reinstated the crucial water flow into homes in the Shnti, Anan and Nezla neighborhoods of Jaballia refugee camp in northern Gaza.
The fuel has also fed generators running sewage drainage pumps in the nearby Saflawi neighborhood. Without the fuel, sewage could have spilled into the streets in a matter of days, contaminating the remaining water supply, and as a result, spreading life-threatening disease in the densely-populated camp.
Despite the lifeline, the 40,000 liters of Oxfam-donated fuel will run out within 10 days. Also, other areas of Gaza are confronting similar fuel shortages, endangering water supplies, sewage drainage systems and threatening tens – if not hundreds – of thousands of people.