Tuesday, February 26, 2008
UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
"JERUSALEM/GAZA, 25 February 2008 (IRIN) - Fuel shortages and power outages in the Gaza Strip continue to affect civilians and institutions such as hospitals, and remain a part of daily life.
Israel has capped the amount of industrial fuel allowed into the territory, and the sole power plant, which relies on diesel, can only produce about 55MW of electricity, though its capacity is 80MW....
In some areas of Gaza residents experience at least eight hours of scheduled blackouts per day, as well as possibly several more hours of unscheduled power outages.
The fuel shortages, combined with limited power from the plant, have caused problems in the supply of drinking water, leaving about 30 percent of Gaza's 1.5 million residents without vital supplies, the Coastal Municipalities Water Utilities said recently.
The utility company was also continuing to dump untreated sewage directly into the sea at the rate of over 30,000 cubic metres per day, as it cannot treat it.....
Meanwhile, many ambulances in Gaza lie idle for lack of fuel. The cuts were affecting some hospital ambulances as well as those of the Ministry of Health and the Palestine Red Crescent Society, according to aid workers.
Hospitals were being more cautious with their fuel, dropping non-urgent surgery during power outages, and delaying treatment in an attempt to reduce fuel consumption....."