SIDON, Lebanon: The joy of Eid al-Fitr, expected to fall Tuesday, for Palestinian refugees in Ain al-Hilweh camp is often dampened by constant power and water cuts, causing them additional burdens during Ramadan.
Dozens of residents from the Palestinian refugee camp of Ain al-Hilweh staged a spontaneous demonstration in the camp’s lower street in protest of power outages and water cuts Saturday.
The protesters set garbage containers on fire to express their anger over the power cuts, which leave the camp with only two hours a day of electricity, causing semi-permanent water shortages and food contamination.
“We feel that there is discrimination against Palestinian refugees, not only in civil rights, but the most basic human ones.” said Palestinian Popular Committees official Fouad Othman.
“Even now, while we are anticipating Eid, there is no electricity and food in refrigerators is becoming contaminated. It is unacceptable that power is cut during times when the camp is supposed to have power,” Othman added.
Othman called on Sidon’s authorities, as well as all political parties and MPs, to discuss with Electricite du Liban ways to resolve this issue soon.
“Today, people are setting containers on fire, tomorrow tires, and after that the camp’s entrances will be closed until power and water are provided,” he added.
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on August 29, 2011, on page 3.