Mohammed Aborjela, a 27-year-old resident of Gaza, once used his Instagram account to share glimpses of daily life in the region. His posts ranged from videos featuring seaside crab dishes to pigeon racing in the coastal enclave. However, with the outbreak of war, his focus has shifted to documenting the challenges of daily life under Israeli bombardment.
One of his recent stories shed light on the struggle to secure drinking water. Aborjela documented his journey to one of the few operational water stations in the southern city of Khan Younis, carrying a bright yellow jug. At the station, a chaotic line formed as people, including many children, waited to fill their containers with well water.
Aborjela, who works as a project coordinator with the development organization Youth Without Borders, expressed concerns about the crowded conditions at the water station, where people jostled for position. “There’s no more water in the taps, so we have to go get water in this way,” he explained, adding that the situation was leading to health issues.
Gaza has grappled with a precarious water supply for years due to the region’s long-standing blockade by Israel and Egypt. In the past, residents relied on various sources, including groundwater from water stations, desalination plants, an Israeli pipeline, and bottled imports. However, with the recent Israeli siege on Gaza in response to an attack by Hamas, the situation has worsened.
Survival in Gaza now involves not only avoiding Israeli airstrikes but also ensuring access to basic necessities like food and water. The United Nations has described the situation as a humanitarian catastrophe and warned that Gaza could run out of water due to the Israeli siege.
Some residents are skipping meals to feed their children, while others resort to drinking brackish water or mixing potable water with contaminated sources. People can be seen carrying containers to collect water whenever possible, and some rely on donkey-drawn carts since vehicles are scarce, with fuel primarily reserved for ambulances and hospital generators.
Despite Israeli airstrikes and the risk of bombardments, people, especially children, are forced to search for food and water. The destruction of bakeries and a shortage of bread add to the challenges. Aid convoys have brought some relief, but the overall situation remains dire.
The scarcity of fuel has also led to limited access to water and electricity. As the crisis deepens, Gaza’s residents continue to struggle daily to meet their basic needs while hoping for an end to the conflict.