Anera’s greenhouse project boosts local factory production
For nearly three decades, 55-year-old Abdulrahman Jumaizeh has worked in a greenhouse factory in Deir Al Balah, Gaza. It has been his only source of income to provide for his family of eight.
But in the recent past, he has faced some challenges. "It’s because of the fluctuating economic and political conditions here in Gaza. Our work relies on farmers who often do not have money to pay for a greenhouse.”
With generous funding from Zakat Foundation of America, Anera placed an order with the factory for a number of new greenhouses. Abdulrahman says Anera’s greenhouse project has been a life-saver. “When there is a project for more greenhouses, it is beneficial for us too."
The lack of funding for farmers' greenhouse projects had impacted the factory’s work, resulting in layoffs and reduced employment. With Anera’s revitalization of greenhouses, there are new job opportunities.
"Our work relies on farmers who often do not have money to pay for a greenhouse."
Rami Abu Sultan, 38, is managing director of the factory. He says the greenhouse project is not the first to be implemented in partnership with Anera.
“This factory feeds 30 families so when there is a greenhouse project, there are job opportunities for my workers," Rami says. He explains that Gaza factories like his mostly rely on funded projects and aid. “Our work stopped for the past three months because there were no new projects.”
Getting the raw materials to build the greenhouses is also a challenge. "The Israeli blockade and the closure of the crossing into Egypt also impact our ability to produce what is needed.”
"The Israeli blockade and the closure of the crossing into Egypt also impact our ability to produce what is needed.”
Factory worker Ibrahim says many raw materials like iron and important equipment are sometimes seized at the crossings. "This has a significant impact on our work."
Rami points out the greenhouse projects benefit more than just farmers and factories. It benefits a whole chain of traders, suppliers and consumers. "Everyone benefits and that is what's needed so much now,” he says.
Rami loves installing the greenhouses just to see the joy on a farmer’s face. "We feel very happy when we manufacture and install greenhouses in their gardens and see their smiles. It’s like helping our own family create a new source of income to survive these difficult times."
Saqr Mohammed, a 41-year-old father of seven, was happy and relieved from the moment he learned that his factory would be producing greenhouses for Anera's project. "Like any man with a family to care for, I’m always on the lookout for any opportunity to work."
Saqr works intermittently installing greenhouse installations manufactured in the factory. "These projects revive everyone when we need it most in these hard times. We hope the project continues so we can have more work."
Saqr describes his days without work as "hell." "Imagine spending a month without a job, with great responsibilities and children. It’s definitely difficult and sad."
Saqr is grateful for Anera’s project and much more. "We welcome such support for the development and expansion of these projects that give us a chance to work and provide for our families."