One million children in Gaza are enduring “unlivable” conditions amid widespread power cuts, according to a leading NGO.
Blackouts mean untreated sewage and water-borne diseases are a growing problem, with families “lucky” to get two hours of electricity per day, Save the Children said.
The group called on the Israeli government to lift its decade-long blockade of the Palestinian territory, run by terrorist group Hamas, and said it would be installing plastic water tanks for some 2,300 families.
In April Gaza’s sole power plant, which provided around a third of the coastal enclave’s electricity, shut down.
One mother, who wanted to be known only as Yara for security reasons, said her 15-year-old son Ali, who suffers from cerebral palsy, was “dying in front of my eyes”.
She said: “He can’t sleep most nights and suffers from continuous pain. We don’t have enough power to get his electric wheelchair and mattress fully charged.
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“When the wheelchair runs out of battery, Ali becomes totally paralysed. We have not had any tap water for two days. I feel suffocated.”
Sewage treatment disruption means around 90% of water sources are unfit for humans to drink, the charity said, adding that some 108 million litres of raw waste is dumped into the Mediterranean Sea around the enclave every day.
Jennifer Moorehead, a director at Save the Children, said: “If you’re ten years old in Gaza you’ve already witnessed three massive and violent escalations of conflict.
“While politicians celebrate Eid and sleep in their air-conditioned homes, Gaza’s children are sweating in the stifling summer heat, unable to sleep, play or study.
“A couple of hours of power a day is just not acceptable in 2017.”
Since 2007, two million people have lived inside 139 square miles, making Gaza one of the world’s most densely populated areas.
Around eight in 10 people there rely on humanitarian help, the charity said.