in a recurring annual scene, difficult humanitarian conditions and disaster arrive as winter comes, and the “Syrian Observatory” calls on the international organizations to intervene to protect and rehabilitate camps of the Syrian north

The catastrophic humanitarian situation continues to cast its shadow over the Syrian refugees in camps of the Syrian north along the border with Turkey, and with the onset of winter, heavy rains, and storms, these displaced people face a new disaster repeated every year, as a result of the floods on the camps due to rainwater, despite the preparations being made, where the past year has been one of the most difficult years for these camps, as camps have been flooded, tents have been destroyed, and thousands of families living there have been damaged, which made the displaced people more prepared this year for the new winter, with the number of displaced people increasing and their living conditions deteriorating as well as for the service aspect in camps of the Syrian north in general, in addition to the decline in of support provided by the humanitarian organizations and responsible parties, where attempts are being made in the meantime to make the tents better, install rain insulation, raising the tents from the ground level, and digging water passages in the camps, in an attempt to avoid drowning and erosion as happened last year.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights as part of its continuous monitoring for the situation of displaced people, obtained testimony of a resident of “Deir Hassan” camps in the northern countryside of Idlib, he says:

“Basically, we of not have enough to prepare for the coming winter, the required and adequate precautionary measures require significant support from humanitarian organizations operating in northern Syria, but on a personal level for the displaced people, they are doing some limited measures to avoid sinking of their tents in the winter, as far as it is possible for them, and as winter approaches, I am currently preparing the tent where my family of 6 live in, where I lifted the tent off the ground, after building a wall only 40 cm long, then lifting the tent on it, and then fortifying it from the outside with stones and sand, digging a stream for the water passes from outside of it so that the water does not gathers, then I installed rain insulators for the tent so it doesn’t get affected by the heavy rainwater, while the measures to be taken in the camps are too many, such as paving roads, raising tents in general, installing rain insulators for the tent, and working to get the rainwater away of the camps, such as digging streams to draw water outside the camps without affecting the displaced people, all these measures are still not present except for a small and limited proportion of camps only, and there is no collaborating effort by the organizations, instead, some of them are carrying out small projects of this kind, in a manner that is not enough to face of the storms and heavy rains in the near winter.

A journalist in Atma camps in the northern countryside of Idlib, spoke in his testimony to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights about the role of some organizations in preparing for winter, and the role of the displaced people as well, where he said:

“Currently, some humanitarian organizations -in a limited way- are setting up service projects that aim to receive winter and avoid what happened in previous years, Bonian organization which works north of Syria paved the dirt streets and paved the roads of al-Mahmasa and al-Ma’abar in Atma camps north of Idlib at a length of 9 km, and the project continues until now, and it worked on building sidewalks as well, the task of these streets is to provide safe passages and evacuation routes for civilians in the event of flooding due to winter rains, and the presence of a sewage channel inside the camps from several nearby villages, also the Charity Body, Sa’ed, has rehabilitated the sewage inside the camps and worked to prepare ferries for civilians to move in the camps, this is a good step as this operation contributed in keeping the flood danger away of the camps near this canal to a large extent, in turn, residents of Atma camp gathering are doing some preparations for their tents, such as lifting them off the ground, reinforcing them well, installing rain insulators, and of course, not all displaced people can do this as a result of the deteriorating living and materially situation, and they need support from the humanitarian organizations to fortify their tents and spare them the risk of flooding and drifting in the coming winter.”

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights calls on all humanitarian organizations operating in the Syrian north to increaser their efforts to prepare for the coming winter in camps of the displaced people, as these projects are not enough to face the potential dangers, and the Syrian Observatory also appeals for adequate support for the displaced people, including heating, clothing, food, and medical supplies, and to stand by them in the face of their fear of the coming winter this year.

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