Infections on the Rise in Gaza as Israel Impedes Delivery of Water, Food

There is only one toilet for 500 to 700 people

1 min read
Palestinians are seen at a makeshift camp in the southern Gaza Strip city of Rafah, on Jan. 27, 2024. (Photo by Rizek Abdeljawad/Xinhua)

Amid an ongoing food crisis caused by Israeli-imposed restrictions on aid entering the Gaza Strip, increasing numbers of people are exposed to the long-term effects of malnourishment. This includes a growing risk of contracting communicable diseases and bacteria as their immune systems weaken due to a lack of food and clean water.

Patients have been displaying symptoms of flu and intestinal problems. “Lately, we’ve also witnessed children suffering from skin rashes due to the lack of clean water for bathing or washing,” said Mohammad Abu Zayed from Doctors Without Borders (MSF). Other conditions linked to the shortage of water include dehydration and Hepatitis A.

According to MSF reports, entire forcibly displaced families living in Rafah are surviving on as little as 3.5 liters of water per day, even though a single person needs at least 2 to 3 liters of water daily. There is no running water in the camps, and most of the infrastructure was destroyed in Israeli bombardments.

Estimates by MSF state that around 70 percent of the people in Gaza are now forced to drink salinized or contaminated water. The shortage of potable water is certainly linked to the increased spread of diarrhea, made even worse by the fact that existing sanitation infrastructure is nowhere near the required standards. Sometimes there is only one toilet for 500 to 700 people.

At the same time, hospitals in southern Gaza continue to report ongoing sieges and sniper attacks by Israeli forces, in addition to bombardments in their proximity.

Globetrotter

Globetrotter is an independent international news syndication service for the people of the Global South, publishing a wide range of perspectives.

Peoples Dispatch

Peoples Dispatch is an international media project with the mission of bringing to you voices from people’s movements and organizations across the globe.

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