Ageing, destroyed infrastructure, a 10-year Israeli blockade and a new tax fight between Palestine factions has led to a major electricity crisis in the impoverished Hamas-run Gaza Strip.
Outside Gaza’s Rantissi Children’s Hospital, the generator is going full throttle.
With electricity in Gaza down to just three to four hours a day, the machine has been running for up to 12 hours straight, powering crucial equipment in the intensive care unit (ICU) that keeps children alive.
But three weeks ago, ICU staff here faced a nightmare scenario.
“The generator just stopped working,” says Muhammad Abunada, the hospital’s director.
“It malfunctioned because it was overloaded.”
As technicians raced to get the generator back online, doctors and nurses madly pumped away on manual respirators in order to keep their tiny patients alive.
Dr Abunada says it was an agonising 10 minutes before the machine kicked back in.
“This never happened in the history of the intensive care unit before, that we had to do manual respiration on children like this,” the director tells the ABC.
Down at Gaza’s seafront, you can smell the effect of the power crisis before you can see it.
Read the full article by Sophie McNeill at ABC News.