Humanitarian catastrophe | Heavy rain destroys many tents in NW Syria, amid appeals by displaced people to rehabilitate affected camps
With the lack of basic preparations and resources of many refugee camps in north west Syria, their inhabitants are plagued with miserable humanitarian conditions every winter, while organizations and authorities continue their indifference and inaction.
Meteorologists had warned against inclement weather and rainfall expected to start with the beginning of December. A low pressure weather front has already hit the region since yesterday.
Meanwhile, rainfall has continued, worsening the situation in the refugee camps with the inhabitants being unable to rehabilitate their tents or prepare their bases to stand up to the strong wind. Every winter, water leaks into the tents, forcing the inhabitants to get out of their tents until they are able to drain the water from the tents. This repeats itself almost daily in the camps of north-west Syria region until the end of winter.
Tens of tents have been destroyed completely, while many sustained partial damage, especially in makeshift camps, due to recent rainfall and windstorm, while these camps have not received the much needed support yet, despite repeated appeals by the inhabitants and the warnings against humanitarian catastrophe.
Most of the refugee camps in different areas in Idlib city and countryside, including the camps of Deir Hassan, KafrLusin, Mashhad RuheenSarmada, Al-Dana and Atma and other camps in the areas of Salqeen, Harem, Jisr Al-Shughour and Darkoush, have sustained considerable material damage.
Speaking to SOHR, a media activists known by his initials as M. A. said, “the humanitarian crisis renews every winter. The inhabitants of refugee camps in the region call upon humanitarian organizations operating in the area to prepare the camps before winter in order to avoid disastrous situation, but these appeals remain unheeded, with organizations operating in the region being unable to provide any support without orders by the authorities holding power. There are tens of camps needed urgent support, after having sustained significant damage due to the heavy rain in the past few days, especially in areas in the western countryside of Idlib and Al-Jabal Al-Wastani area.”
The activist added, “many camps receive no support by any organizations, while some organizations in areas in the northern countryside of Idlib, including Deir Hassan, Atma and Al-Dana, seem satisfied with only launching campaigns on their pages on Facebook to collect donations. The tents of camps which have been destroyed completely need to be replaced, while the ground of these camps has to be levelled and the roads leading to these camps need to be paved. Moreover, the tents have to be provided with water proof covers and set a few centimetres above the ground, so that water does not leak into the tents. The affected families have to be provided with food, heating allowances and subsidies, medicine and blankets. The living situation in refugee camps has become unbearable for most of the displaced people.”
One of the inhabitants of “Al-Omari” camp, which is located Deir Hassan area and accommodates nearly 120 families displaced from several areas in Hama and Idlib countryside, tells SOHR that “several families in the camp live below the poverty line, as they have no sources of income. With the beginning of rain in the past few days, the sufferings of the camp’s inhabitants escalated greatly, as water flooded the camp, hindering movement of displaced people and vehicles. The rain and winds storm have damaged many tents and apartments in the camp for being not ready to face such bad weather. There are many apartments in the camp have no windows or doors, while the inhabitants of these apartments have been waiting for providing these doors and windows by any organizations. In the recent time, some the camp’s tents need to be replaced with appropriate apartments, while the inhabitants have to be provided with drinking water, bread and heating allowances and subsidies. On a daily basis, convoys with humanitarian assistance enter the region, but only little aid is delivered to the affected people and the needy, as the dominating authorities, including Hayyaat Tahrir Al-Sham and the Salvation Government, seize this assistance for their own benefit.”
It is worth noting that the latest rain, which hit most of refugee camps in north and west Idlib countryside this morning, has worsened the dire situation in these camps. The inhabitants of the affected camps have appealed to humanitarian organizations to provide urgent support and rehabilitate the tents and provide them with needed potentials in order to be able to stand up to the incoming storms and rainfall.