24 June Jun 2013 1138 24 June 2013

Syrian Refugee Camps in Lebanon: Water Emergency

“Water, we need lots of water! Statistics show that at least ten liters of water per person per day are needed but refugees often do not even have a liter of drinking water a day” according to AVSI Country representative in Lebanon Marco Perini.

After enduring an extreme cold winter, thousands of Syrian refugees sheltered in Lebanon have to face a torrid summer that will only worsen the situation in the refugee camps from the point of view of hygiene and health.
Right now as summer approaches, the most urgent need is as simple as clean water. In the Marjayoun camp alone, there are only 2 tanks to hold about 1000 liters of water. In order to provide for the 1000 residents in the tent city, an estimated 11 tanks, each of 10,000 liters are needed according to AVSI Program Manager Chiara Nava. Otherwise, besides the obvious problem of dehydration, there is also a great risk of spreading cholera or other water-born diseases. The lack of water has already caused the first clear symptoms such as skin diseases, lice and intestinal disorders, which are minor diseases but contribute to worsen the living conditions in the camps and refugees’ spirits.
Besides the concern for the most pressing needs, there is also fear of the near future since Syrian crisis seems still far from a solution. Therefore, in addition to the provision of drinking water and food, AVSI staff is organizing recreational activities for children as well as planning their return to school and preparing for next winter, because if you don’t deal with these issues now, children will not go to school tomorrow and families will not have fuel for their stoves in winter and living in a tent in the middle of a snowy Bekaa valley is very hard.