In the aftermath of the torrential rains and flooding in Gaza, Anera already has distributed 500 cleaning and personal hygiene kits to some of the affected families in Gaza City’s Al-Zarqaa neighborhood. Many of the 5,000 displaced are still unable to return to their flooded, mud-soaked homes. Health officials also warn of health hazards, including diarrhea and water-born diseases.
The cleaning and personal care kits contain soap, shampoo, chlorine for disinfecting, dishwashing detergent, floor cleaners, towels, sponges, laundry soap, toothpaste, toothbrushes, broom and mop. The kit combines home cleaning and personal hygiene items to help families clean their homes and protect themselves against a number of diseases related to the polluted waters that devastated so many Gaza houses.
Saleem Moqad and his family were devastated when the storm flooded their house. Three of Saleem’s children had to be hospitalized. Saleem broke his arm when he fell in the fetid flood waters as the family made their way to a small rescue boat amid the cold and darkness.
"We lost everything, the little that we had," he said. "We woke up at midnight and found everything flooded, with the children immersed in the water.” Saleem says they still cannot go back to their ravaged home. “My children want to go home but they are also afraid now that this might happen again. We need help to clean up from the disaster and it will take a long time before we can go back.”
“We are grateful for the emergency kit because we couldn’t afford any of this,” said Saleem, a construction worker who lost his job in July after the tunnels into Egypt and the border were closed and no more construction materials were getting into Gaza. Until they can return home, Saleem says his priority is finding food and warm clothes for his displaced family.