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Monday, February 26, 2024

Heavy Rain Adds to Hardships of Displaced Families in Gaza

In the midst of an already dire humanitarian crisis resulting from the Israel-Hamas conflict, displaced families in Gaza faced another harsh blow as heavy rain and strong winds battered their makeshift shelters overnight on Wednesday. The inclement weather tore through flimsy tents, soaked clothes and blankets, leaving many grappling with the harsh realities of displacement.

The Scene at Rafah Tent Camp

Located in Rafah, a camp set against sandy terrain strewn with debris, families found themselves dealing with the aftermath of a tumultuous night. Desperate efforts were underway as individuals carried buckets of sand to cover puddles both inside and just outside their tents. Soggy clothes hung on lines, attempting to dry in the damp aftermath.

While some families had sturdier tents, others relied on makeshift shelters crafted from tarpaulins or thin, transparent plastic designed for protecting goods rather than providing adequate shelter for people. Many tents lacked ground-sheets, forcing occupants to endure a night huddled on wet sand.

Ramadan Mohadad, a middle-aged man, shared his experience, saying, “It is torn, and water poured on us. We were drenched.” Attempting to mend his family’s shelter, fashioned from strips of plywood and a thin plastic sheet, Mohadad described the challenges of staying dry in the makeshift dwelling.

Struggles and Heartbreak

Rips in plastic shelters were evident, with some families finding puddles inside. In a desperate attempt to keep water at bay, one family had strategically placed a cement block at the entrance, acting as a makeshift dam, along with smaller bricks inside resembling stepping stones.

Yasmin Mhani, a mother of five, recounted waking up to find her seven-month-old child soaked. Having lost their home to an Israeli airstrike and one of their children, along with all possessions, Mhani’s family now shares a single blanket. “This is the fifth place we have had to move to, fleeing from one place to another, with nothing but a t-shirt on,” she lamented.

Continued Displacement and Fear

Rafah, situated near the border with Egypt, represents the southernmost part of the Gaza Strip. It has seen a growing influx of people seeking refuge from the intense conflict between Israel and Hamas, which has escalated in both the northern and southern regions.

Inas, a 38-year-old mother of five, shared the heartbreaking tale of her family being forced to flee four times since the conflict began. From Twam in northern Gaza City to Tel al-Hawa, then to Nuseirat refugee camp in central Gaza, followed by the city of Khan Younis, and now Rafah—their journey has been marked by constant displacement. Having lost a five-floor house and a supermarket, Inas’s family reflects the profound toll the conflict has taken on their lives.

As these displaced families navigate the relentless challenges brought by the elements and the ongoing conflict, the international community remains vigilant to the urgent need for humanitarian aid in the region.

For more updates stay tuned to FELA News!

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