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A LIVABLE HOME IS “AS IMPORTANT AS BREAD”

Binaa worker renovating the house

 

A practical solution to a real crisis: BINAA for Development launches project to restore the homes of displaced persons in northern Syria

In addition to the obvious and immediate consequences of armed conflict, another type of suffering haunts hundreds of thousands of displaced Syrians in northern Syria, who were driven from their homes and their villages and forced to flee into the unknown.

Many of these displaced Syrians found refuge in demolished or incomplete cement houses – uninsulated structures that are unbearably cold in winter and dangerously hot in summer. For thousands of families in northern Syria, the lack of adequate housing is exacerbated by an absence of livelihood resources and job opportunities.

Committed to providing workable and practical solutions for displaced persons, BINAA for Development tackled housing in the Idlib countryside. With funding from Global Communities, BINAA’s restoration teams began maintenance and renovation projects for damaged houses – structures that are currently occupied by Internally Displaced Persons who cannot afford the costs of restoration.

During a visit by the BINAA team to one of the informal camps, Mr. B. Ayoub, a beneficiary of the project, introduced himself. “I and my family are from the village of Isqat in the Idlib countryside”, he said, “and our situation is very bad. On days when I work, we have something to eat. When I don’t work, we don’t eat.”   

Mr. Ayoub, his wife and their three children lived in a dilapidated house that lacked heat, as well as doors or windows. Mr. Ayoub said, “Last winter, we almost died from the cold. We saw death with our own eyes.”

Mr. Ayoub and his family are just one example of thousands who barely made it through the winter due to a lack of resources and adequate shelter.

Amer, an engineer on the BINAA renovation team, described the urgency of the project.  “Most of these houses don’t have windows or doors... although people do live in them, these houses, in reality, are not fit for habitation in their current condition.”  

Amer noted that the BINAA restoration team provides more than 70% of the renovation and finishing required to bring the damaged houses to livable standards.

Mr. Ayoub in his renovated house

In Mr. Ayoub’s house, renovation works included the installation of new doors and windows, the construction of a protection wall on the roof, and indoor and outdoor cement flooring. Mr. Ayoub praised the team’s work: “Thank God…the young men came and installed windows and doors…They built the house…they maintained the roof… They did not refuse any requests – they even brought us LED lights.”  

"The young men came and installed windows and doors…They built the house…they maintained the roof… They did not refuse any requests – they even brought us LED lights.” - B. Ayoub

Amer describes the renovation initiative as an “important project”. “In fact,” he says, “This project is as important as bread.” 

The renovation initiative is conducted in conjunction with a number of other projects launched by BINAA to improve the living conditions for residents in northern Syria’s camps, including the rehabilitation and paving of roads in the camps; the extension of water, sewage and rainwater drainage networks; and other high priority services related to camp conditions and residents’ needs.