Tuesday, 4 June 2013

A Silent Crisis - The Environmental Nightmare of Gaza

This is my final photo essay from this trip to Gaza and is the work I submitted for my Final Major Project at the end of my BA in Photojournalism at L.C.C; which I have just finished.

The work I put up in my final exhibition and I have also designed a book of the project. If you are interested in buying the book please contact me on sd02davidshaw@hotmail.com. They are 30 quid each which I know is expensive but is exactly how much they cost me, they are a4/ hardbound and full colour with over 20 images in.

This is the photo essay - please click on the images to make them larger.

The Gaza strip has been plagued by conflict for decades and in recent times has seen fierce fighting between the ruling Hamas and the Israeli military. Gaza’s on-going troubles, combined with an economic blockade, have led to environmental and social problems that make life barely liveable. Shot in the aftermath of the November 2012 violent escalation between Hamas and the Israeli military, the work focuses on the daily life of the Palestinians struggling to survive inside the environmental degradation of Gaza.

Fishermen return after a day’s work. Due to pollution and an Israeli imposed naval blockade, Palestinian fishermen find it hard to make a living fishing from Gaza’s coast.

A Palestinian fisherman works on his nets in Gaza Sea Port.

Palestinian boys catch shrimp in the polluted water off the coast of Gaza. 

A bridge and drinking water pipe stands destroyed after being hit by an Israeli air attack during the escalation of 2012. The pipe supplied 10,000 people with water who could not venture out for more due to the intense bombing of the area.

A Palestinian boy pulls water back to his home after his family's own supply was destroyed by an Israeli bomb.

The water in Gaza is often very salty and contains chemicals, hard metals as well as other pollutants with 95% of water in the taps is unfit to drink. Here a Palestinian chemist records what is found in the water so appropriate action can be taken.   

Gaza’s only power station, which suffers from lack of fuel which creates rolling blackouts across the Gaza strip.  

Hamas Al-Qassam fighters walk through the streets of Gaza city.

Hamas Al-Qassam fighters guard the roads of Gaza city as Khaled Meshaal, the ruling Hamas’s leader, returns to Palestine for the first time in decades. The leader used the ceasefire to safely enter Gaza knowing Israel would not break the ceasefire by assassinating him. 

An Israeli fighter jet circles over Gaza city.

A forty-year-old Palestinian woman injured in an air raid whilst she milked her cows; she has shrapnel in her back and has been bed-ridden for a week.

The Wadi Gaza River which used to be a nature reserve, has now become pure sewage due to a lack of waste water infrastructure and the damming of the river on the Israeli side of the border. Communities and farms still operate next to the river.

A Palestinian baby with scabies. Scabies is caught easily throughout Gaza as clothes are washed in recycled cleaning water which spreads the disease.

Safiyya Hadhud, 50, from the village of Al-Malalha is struggling to feed her family of eight. “The children have just come home from school and they must be starving; only God knows how much I suffer.”

One of Safiyya Hadhud’s children eats a candy bar, in the small village of Al-Malalha.

 Palestinian women walk home near the Nuseirat refugee camp, Gaza.


  1. great journalism there dave! covering both sides of the story.. Both sides are at fault, not just Israel. There's so much anti-semitism out there, you'd think we'd have moved on a bit..

  2. Dave! You are my hero! If I ever get a job Ill buy your book... Great work!