SHATA REFUGEE CAMP | GAZA
❝We live a very miserable life in Gaza. My husband is unemployed due to health problems and I work in a kindergarten for NIS300 [US$83] a month.
❝We are a family with 10 children, most of whom go to school except the youngest. We struggle every day to meet our children’s growing needs and to put food on their plates.
❝In addition, we have to cope with problems beyond our control, such as electricity cuts, water shortages and lack of cooking gas.
❝The shortage of cooking gas is every mother’s nightmare. If we run out of gas, we have to wait for more than three weeks to get our gas cylinder refilled.
❝We cannot afford a backup cylinder as we are too poor. During these three weeks, I sometimes use a small gas cylinder to light the house for food preparation during electricity cuts.
❝When the small cylinder runs out, I try to time preparing the food with the electricity cuts schedule, using an unsafe electric cooking stove to prepare simple meals such as fried potatoes or eggs or boiling milk for the children.
❝The stove is not safe because of the poor electricity supply and because it is low on the ground and I’m always afraid one of the children will knock it over and burn themselves.
❝It often happens that the children wake up at night during electricity cuts and I cannot even prepare milk for them.
❝It’s even worse when my children have to go to school without breakfast or even a cup of milk or tea. The same thing happens when they come back from school - no food if there is no gas or electricity.
❝Our house is small; I cannot build a wood stove to prepare food for the children to reduce the risks from the electric stove. My children are exposed to danger every time we run out of gas, but what can I do?❞
(Her testimony was collected in April 2014.)