Heavy rains floods Gaza's homes and streets for second year in a row

Heavy rains floods Gaza's homes and streets for second year in a row
For the second year in a row, the houses and streets in the besieged coastal enclave on Tuesday were flooded by the rainfall, which sparked the locals' anger. 
3 min read
09 November, 2022
Rainfall flooded Gaza homes and streets for the second year in a row (Getty)

For the second year in a row, the houses and streets in the besieged coastal enclave on Tuesday were flooded due to heavy rain, sparking anger among residents

The impoverished coastal enclave, home to more than 2.3 million people, most of whom are refugees, witnessed heavy rain and thunder, causing traffic in many streets. 

School students, women, and elderly men were stuck and could not return to their homes as the main roads of the Strip were closed due to the floods, while some took the risk and waded through the water.

"Civil defence crews carried out dozens of tasks since the start of the depression this morning, including pumping water from flooded houses and opening channels in roads and public streets," Mahmoud Basal, spokesman for the Civil Defense in Gaza, said in a press statement sent to The New Arab

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Basal said that his department declared a state of emergency for its general field crews in Gaza yesterday to quickly deal with the damage, indicating that dealing with incidents is according to priority and importance.

"The main reason for the flooding of some areas was because of the destruction of infrastructure due to Israeli aggression on the coastal enclave in 2021," Hosni Muhanna, a spokesperson of Gaza Municipality, said to TNA.

"For this, we have a lake of rainwater drainage networks in the territory," he said, stressing that his organisation has done its best to ensure funds from the Arab and international donors repair the infrastructure and rainwater networks. 

"The crews of the Gaza municipalities are working in the field now to address the problems that arose with the start of the air depression," he said, stressing that all crews will not leave the field until things return to normal.

Muhanna pointed out that the municipalities of the Gaza Strip suffer significantly from a lack of capabilities and requirements and are trying, in cooperation with many partners and relevant authorities, to overcome this crisis.

Residents also appealed through local radio stations to municipalities and government agencies in the Gaza Strip for a speedy intervention to rescue them after they were held in their homes for hours due to the rising water level.

That scenes sparked anger among Gazans, who accused the local municipalities of negligence.

Asaad Abu Jaiab, a Gaza-based resident, complained that the municipality in his area almost cut the water and electricity at his house if he delays paying the fees, but it does not hold its responsibilities towards the people. 

"We should raise our voices against the current officials who only care about their interests," the 52-year-old father of one said to TNA. "The people must change the situation by force."

Because of the rainfall, Mohammed Nafar, owner of a cafe in Gaza, could not receive any of his clients, which affected his daily income. 

"We are still in the first day and all of our work was stopped (...) I do not know how we can deal with such a complicated problem during the whole winter season," the 26-year-old complained. 

"Last year, I barely work two or three days a week as my customers needed to use boast to reach my shop, the only source of income for my family," he recalled. 

Both Abu Jaiab and Nafar accused the ministry of work housing as well as the local municipalities of corruption, demanding the officials quit their positions as soon as possible. 

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They believe that Gaza was funded with millions of dollars by the donors, but the public people did not see anything of them, they only receive more suffering. 

Since 2007, the Gazans have been challenged by the consequences of the Israeli blockade imposed on them after Hamas, which won the legislative elections, controlled the area. 

Moreover, the Israeli army carried out four large-scale military wars, killing thousands of people and destroying dozens of hundreds of houses between 2008 and 2022.