More than two million Palestinians live inside Gaza’s 140 square mile limits, over 70% of them refugees. Hussein Al-Taramsi (32) is a refugee from the village of Harbia which is only 15 kilometers from the Gaza border. Hussein works for the Gaza municipality in waste disposal.
As a result of the ongoing blockade and the economic deterioration, Gazans are not able to pay municipal services fees, especially during the Coronavirus pandemic. This has created a financial deficit in the municipal budget and forced cuts in salaries for municipal employees including Hussein and his crew. He now receives 60% of his salary.
But it isn’t only salaries that have been impacted, municipal governments in Gaza also have difficulty maintaining services like paying for the fuel needed to transport waste. This forces workers to use alternative means for transporting waste, such as donkey-pulled carts.
Palestinians in Gaza have found ways to work around these crises and are struggling to improve their living conditions but what is really needed is action in Palestine and the world to bring an end to the blockade and the Israeli military occupation.