• Al Mawasi

  • Wednesday, January 24, 2024 at 10:49:30 AM
    Last Update : Monday, January 29, 2024 at 10:40 AM

Solar Energy Utilized by Displaced Palestinians to Bring Light Into Gaza’s Dark Tents

(AWP) - In the absence of electricity and lack of fuel due to the ongoing Israeli war, many displaced Palestinians in the Gaza Strip now rely on solar energy as their only source of power.

In the area of al-Mawasi on the Palestinian Mediterranean coast, in southwest Gaza, an unemployed displaced man has used his technical expertise to establish a centre providing solar charging services.

For a certain fee, displaced people can now charge their electric lights, mobile phones and radios.

Electrician Othman Sharab, who owns the small charging centre, says that his project offers a way to connect people with their relatives amidst the ongoing war, as well as a means of earning a living that helps him to cope with the hardships of displacement.

Sharab said, “We are displaced, and as you can see of course, here in al-Mawasi, most of the approximately 600,000 citizens are displaced, and we are unemployed. So, I brought these alternative energy sources and began providing recharging services for people.”

He added, “We help those who need to charge their phones to check on the conditions of their family and receive calls from their relatives. They cannot charge them, so we have provided and created this system to help people, and at the same time we cover our living expenses from this project.”

However, many displaced people said the prices were too high and also complained about the continuous power outages due to the relentless Israeli bombing since October 7.

Mahmoud al-Najjar, a displaced Palestinian, said, “We are suffering from a constant power outage. There is no electricity and nothing to charge through. We bring rechargeable light bulbs so we can charge them here to light the tent at night. Electricity is completely cut off. All the electricity grids are destroyed due to Israeli shelling, and we have no alternative.”

He added, “We come here to charge our mobile phones to follow the news and know what is happening in the world. Life has become expensive. Recharging prices are high, at five [Israeli] shekels and three shekels, and mobile phones are recharged for two shekels.”

Ahmed Weshah is another displaced Palestinian, who risked his life to fetch his solar panel from his home in the heart of Gaza, which he had previously evacuated following Israeli warnings.

Despite the extreme danger, he managed to bring the panel and set it up next to the tent, providing energy to operate lamps and charge his and his family’s mobile phones.

He said, “[Solar panels] solved a major crisis for us here. Before I risked my life to retrieve it from my home, I used to queue up in long lines in the industrial areas and charging agencies to charge the battery that would last for a day or two.”

“I had to take the risk and go back home to the area we evacuated to escape the bombing and bring it here,” Weshah concluded.