At 10 am on Thursday, 1 February 2018, Al Mezan Center for Human Right held an open meeting with a number of beneficiaries of a housing project funded by the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA). The project is located in the neighborhood of Al Hoda, Johor Al Deek, in the southeast of the Gaza City governorate. The meeting followed Al Mezan’s receipt of several complaints about a reported lack of electricity in the neighborhood, which is burdening the residents who live in apartments in multi-story residential complexes. Without a consistent supply of electricity, residents are not able to access water or the internet, and the elderly and disabled residents are not able to leave their apartments.
The meeting was moderated by Mr. Mohammed Al Daalsa, Al Mezan’s field researcher in the Middle Area governorate. The TIKA’s housing project residents engaged in an open discussion about the problems in their neighborhood. In 2017, the Minister of Public Works and Housing, Mr. Mofid Al Hasayna, celebrated the distribution of apartments to 320 families. The distribution was based on a humanitarian needs assessment and beneficiaries included people from social security programs, living in shelters, and who had lost property during governmental operations.
When the project beneficiaries received their apartments, they discovered that their new residence lacked water and power. They founded a local committee to take on the issue, including by contacting the municipality of Johor Al Deek. The municipality provided access to water at a period of one month after the project beneficiaries received their apartments. However, the Gaza Power Generating Company refused to supply the requested electricity, claiming that the project implementing company had outstanding financial dues.
Without electricity, the residents—the majority of whom are women, children and older people—cannot maintain an adequate standard of living. The complaints submitted to Al Mezan about this situation included the hopes of residents for a solution to be found in order for them to be able to access basic services.
Mr. Al Daalsa stressed the urgent need to respond to the requests of TIKA’s housing beneficiaries. Al Mezan will be following up on the complaints and will be in contact with the relevant and competent bodies to find a solution to this issue.