The power plant at Nasser hospital, inaugurated by the World Health Organization (WHO), is one of a number of efforts to respond to the huge challenge facing the health sector in the Palestinian territory.
Mahmoud Dahir, director of the WHO office in Gaza, says the plant began operating in June with a capacity of 250 kilowatts, which covers 20 per cent of the hospital’s needs.
The US$ 500,000 plant, funded by the Japanese government, will help reduce the hospital’s dependence on emergency generators, and power vital life-saving equipment in the facility that serves 200,000 people.
“The expansion of renewable energy projects, especially solar energy, can be seen as a saviour for the health sector in Gaza,”
Ashraf Abu-Mahady, Gaza Ministry of Health
The Gaza Strip has suffered from a “chronic electricity deficit” for the past 10 years, according to the UN, affecting essential services, such as health, water and sanitation, and undermining the territory’s fragile economy.
The enclave needs 560 megawatts to meet the needs of the population there, according to data from Gaza’s Electricity Distribution Company.
However, the available energy from Israeli power lines is only 120 megawatts, in addition to 83 megawatts from an existing electric power station.