On Sunday, 27 August 2017, Al Mezan Center for Human Rights organized an open meeting attended by 20 residents of Shaikh Ridwan area in northern Gaza City. Shaikh Ridwan is located in the vicinity of a rainwater collection site, which has become increasingly hazardous for the residents of the neighborhood. Al Mezan called the meeting in response to a number of residents’ complaints about the potential health risks that might be caused by the infestation of insects and rodents at the site.
Field worker at Al Mezan, Khaled Abu Sbitan, took notes on the discussion. According to residents, the site in which the rainwater has been kept for three years, has never been cleaned or fumigated by the municipality of Gaza. This neglect has caused an infestation of rodents and insects that could potentially carry disease, and cause a reportedly nauseating odor.
The residents reported that despite frequent calls to various authorities requesting that the site be cleaned—including to the municipality of Gaza—no authority has yet responded. Mr. Abu Sbitan confirmed that he would follow the matter with relevant officials, including the municipality of Gaza.
At the end of the meeting, the residents thanked Al Mezan for engaging on the matter, and expressed the hope that a solution would soon be in place.