Power Crisis Leaves Gaza Farmers Hanging Out to Dry

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  • 11:02 - 24 April 2012

(Alresalah.ps) -- Large stretches of agricultural land in the Gaza Strip are suffering from lack of irrigation as the electricity and accompanying fuel crisis have started leaving their mark on farmers.

With the crisis now in its third month, farmers have told Oxfam that with no fuel and electricity they are unable to irrigate their crops and they see their yields drying up.

Even in the water-rich northern town of Beit Lahiya, famous for its strawberries that are among the few items allowed out for export, farmers are watching in despair as their fields dry up.

"We can't turn our water pumps on to extract water from boreholes, and we are left powerless seeing our crops dying in front of our eyes until we get a steady supply of fuel or electricity," said Nabil Ghaben, a farmer who depends on his dunum (1,000 square metres) of land for a living.

With six family members depending on his income, Nabil said no aid can really help him right now unless the fuel situation is solved in the long term.

"We can do nothing without water," he said, as Oxfam partner Union of Agriculture Workers' Committees (UAWC) was visiting his farm as part of a beneficiary selection process for a new economic development project funded by the Danish government's development agency DANIDA.



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