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HYGIENE AND HEALTH – CRUCIAL CONCERNS FOR THE DISPLACED IN NORTHERN SYRIA

Cleaning worker disposing of garbage

 

BINAA for Development provides large-scale solutions to hygiene issues across 144 camps in Idlib and the surrounding countryside

“Syrians care a lot about cleanliness in their homes, but the conditions in the IDP camps are terrible. There are no bathrooms, no water installations , not even floors to clean in the tents. Our children hardly get any clean water to drink, and bathing is a luxury for them.” This is how Abu Ahmed described the condition of his family and neighbours in the Kulli  camp in Idlib countryside, where he has lived for years. “Over the years, we grew accustomed to the daily suffering caused by the lack of hygiene, the scarcity of water and the accumulation of garbage – at the expense of our health and the health of our children. Without basic hygienic standards and supplies, our kids get sick all the time.” 

“Over the years, we grew accustomed to the daily suffering caused by the lack of hygiene, the scarcity of water and the accumulation of garbage – at the expense of our health and the health of our children. Without basic hygienic standards and supplies, our kids get sick all the time” - Abu Ahmed, an IDP from Idlib

The conditions described by Abu Ahmed are similar to those endured by tens of thousands of displaced people in camps in northern Syria – people who were forced to leave behind everything they had and suddenly find themselves in the open, living under a flimsy roof made of cloth, without water, cleaning materials, bathrooms, or any other basic necessities.

To address these problems, BINAA for Development, in partnership with UNICEF, launched a wide-scale project to manage the collection and disposal of solid waste, provide hygiene kits to residents, and raise awareness about the importance of hygiene in the 144 IDP camps in Idlib and its countryside.

BINAA formed a cleaning team consisting of 400 workers responsible for the collection and disposal of solid waste in the camps. This waste was previously left to accumulate, becoming a breeding ground for insects and rodents.

The team also distributed hygiene kits containing basic daily cleaning materials and other personal hygiene items – materials that are difficult to secure on a regular basis by camp residents. 

Describing the objectives of this project, Mazen Traboulsi, Director of Water and Sanitation at BINAA for Development said: “No one can enjoy a decent and healthy life without these basic necessities and services. Our goal is to preserve the health of our people, who weren’t able to obtain even these simple items.”  

“No one can enjoy a decent and healthy life without these basic necessities and services. Our goal is to preserve the health of our people, who weren’t able to obtain even these simple items.” - Mazen Traboulsi, Director of Water and Sanitation at BINAA for Development

“We will distribute 110 thousand of these kits to residents to address their vital need for for those supplies and preserve their health and the health of their families.” 

cleaning worker in Kulli camp in Idlib

The project also included the restoration of 547 bathrooms in 144 IDP camps in Idlib and its countryside. BINAA for Development teams have also built an additional 500 new separate bathrooms for men and women in these camps.

“Our goal is to improve living conditions for displaced persons and help them overcome the harsh conditions they live in. This project is part of several other initiatives, including the daily distribution of clean water to more than 110,000 people in these camps,” he added.

Additionally, BINAA’s teams initiated campaigns to educate camp residents on communicable diseases, particularly those transmitted through contaminated water, and to raise awareness of the importance of maintaining public and personal hygiene.