Rainfall Floods Homes in Gaza Due to Slow Reconstruction

GAZA, April 12, 2015 (WAFA) – As the “Gaza Reconstruction Mechanism” set up by the United Nations, is progressing slowly, dozens of Palestinians’ homes and caravans are flooded with rainwater amid rain storms that has been affecting the region since Saturday.

WAFA correspondent reported that many homes across the Gaza Strip, which was destroyed during the Israeli aggression in the summer of 2014, in addition to makeshift structures used as residences where heavily flooded with rain water.

The families were evacuated out of their flooded homes and placed in schools. Meanwhile, dozens of students were evacuated from their school in Ad-Daraj neighborhood in central Gaza after it flooded with rainwater.

Most of the homes located in low areas in Gaza were flooded; however, no injuries were reported so far.

The International development charity Oxfam, in an emailed December situation update said that three months since the ceasefire that ended Israel’s devastating summer assault, “and nearly two months since the international community pledged $5.4 billion in aid, reconstruction in Gaza has barely begun and the Israeli blockade remains firmly in place.”

During the Israeli summer aggression on the Strip, thousands of homes were destroyed and around 170,000 Palestinians were consequently left homeless.

Gaza still suffers from the repercussions of the Israeli aggression which took place in the summer of 2014; the infrastructure along with thousands of homes were completely destroyed, displacing thousands of families who up until the moment live in caravans on the rubble of their homes.

On January 5, the Gaza city municipality made an appeal to promptly begin with the reconstruction of Gaza. An international aid conference to help rebuild Gaza was held in Cairo on October, where donors pledged $5.4 billion in Gaza aid, however, the reconstruction work has not started yet due to Israeli restrictions on the entry of materials and failure of United Nations rebuilding mechanism.

Meanwhile, the UN News Center stated that, “United Nations agencies and offices were alarm over the limited progress in rebuilding the lives of those affected by last summer’s fighting between Israeli forces and Palestinian armed groups in the Gaza Strip.”

A joint statement from some 30 international aid agencies said that, “Six months after a ceasefire ended over seven weeks of fighting the Israeli-imposed blockade continues, the political process, along with the economy, are paralyzed, and living conditions have worsened.”

“Reconstruction and repairs to the tens of thousands of homes, hospitals, and schools damaged or destroyed in the fighting has been woefully slow. Sporadic rocket fire from Palestinian armed groups has resumed,” the agencies said.

The statement said that, “Since July, the situation has deteriorated dramatically. Approximately 100,000 Palestinians remain displaced this winter, living in dire conditions in schools and makeshift shelters not designed for long-term stay.”

The center reported on the agencies stating that “the international community is not providing Gaza with adequate assistance. “Little of the $5.4 billion pledged in Cairo has reached Gaza. Cash assistance to families who lost everything has been suspended and other crucial aid is unavailable due to lack of funds.”