Jul 23, 2023

Business booms for Gaza repairman as heatwave fans demand

[1/3]A Palestinian, Mustafa Abdou, repairs a fan in his shop amid a heatwave at the Shati refugee camp in Gaza City, July 25, 2023. REUTERS/Mohammed Salem

GAZA, July 30 (Reuters) - While soaring temperatures across the Middle East are causing discomfort for many, Gaza electrical appliance repairman Mustafa Abdou is enjoying a boom in business amid surging demand for electric fans.

"I have been in the business for 40 years, it has never been so hot," said the 70-year-old, sitting in the middle of piles of broken fans and other electric appliances inside his small shop in Gaza Beach refugee camp.

Temperatures have risen above 38 degrees Celsius (104 Fahrenheit) in Gaza and frequent power cuts have pushed more and more people to adapt their fans to work by battery. There is constant demand for maintenance work as well.

"I used to repair a few fans but as the heatwave soars the demand on fans increased and I am repairing more, I am doing more repairs because the heatwave is unprecedented," said Abdou, who mainly serves people living in the camp but some customers from elsewhere as well.

Despite being surrounded by fans, he was sweating as he spoke because his own fan couldn't work due to a power cut.

More than 2.3 million people live in the Gaza Strip, the narrow strip of land squeezed between Egypt and Israel.

According to local officials, the area needs around 500 megawatts of power per day in summer. It receives 120 megawatts from Israel while the enclave's lone power plant supplies another 60 megawatts.

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Thomson Reuters

A senior correspondent with nearly 25 years’ experience covering the Palestinian-Israeli conflict including several wars and the signing of the first historic peace accord between the two sides.