In the past days, we have assisted over 8,700 people who have been affected by heavy rain and snowfall distributing blankets, mattresses and other necessary hygiene products such as shampoo, soap, sanitary pads, and toothbrushes to replace what have been destroyed and enable refugees to keep their hygiene practices during the harsh weather conditions,” says Racha El Daoi, NRC Communication and Advocacy Manager in Lebanon.
The harsh weather conditions after storm "Norma" and “Miriam” caused damage to infrastructure, roads and homes across Lebanon. Across the country, Syrian refugees have been evacuated to alternative options as informal tented settlements were flooded and many tents collapsed.
“Refugees in informal tented settlements are already living in marginalized conditions with poor drainage and flood defence infrastructure and with limited capacity to weatherproof their shelter properly. NRC’s emergency team is responding to the critical and urgent needs of refugees who have been affected by the winter storms sweeping over the country,” says El Daoi.
The Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) has provided an emergency response to affected populations to meet critical and urgent needs by distributing necessary items such as timber, plastic sheets, mattresses and blankets. So far, we have reached out to 8,700 individuals.
"Yesterday, we spent all the day removing the water from our tent, so we slept in our neighbours’ tent. We put all the mattresses, blankets, and carpets outside to dry them out, everything was wet," said Malak, a Syrian refugee in Lebanon's Bekaa valley.
“The location of the informal tented settlement where we live is very low, every year when it rains our tents get flooded, we need our tents to be lifted. This year, we escaped to the schools to stay safe from floods. Our mattresses are damaged now, and we are unable to use them because they are drowned in wastewater," said Mohammad, a Syrian refugee in Lebanon's Bekaa valley.
Our emergency response has consisted of distributing shelter kits, hygiene kits, new arrival kits, desludging, pumping, graveling and referrals.
Below are some facts and figures of our response:
- 308 repair kits consisting of timber and tarpaulins
- 32 kits for new arrivals which includes timber and tarpaulins for tents that have totally collapsed
- 1385 tarpaulins
- 502 blankets
- 502 matrasses
- 119 hygiene kits
- 431 assessments
- 797 referrals
“I worry about my children and where to sleep while our tent is flooded, I couldn’t even send my children to school because of the floods. I don’t know where our belongings are anymore, we are lost. All I wish is to live in peace and provide my children with proper education, that’s all what I want," said Randa, 34, a Syrian refugee in Lebanon Bekaa valley.
In some areas refugees have been forced to evacuate to alternative locations as tents have collapsed and informal tented settlements have flooded due to the heavy rain and snowfall.
“Flooding in the settlements and damage to tents have affected approximately 22,600 people in 574 sites, majority of them being women and children. NRC is therefore pumping floodwater out of sites and desludging the informal settlements to improve living conditions and improve accessibility for refugees. We are also distributing timber, tarpaulins and gravel to repair damaged settlements and tents,” says El Daoi.