Syria – Displaced persons fear harsh winter
Location: Syria – Azraq camp – Maarrat Misrin – Idlib countryside
Source: A24 in north Syria
As winter approaches, displaced Syrians in northern Syria are reminded of the painful memories of the onset of winter. Memories of flooding of camps with torrential waters and frostbite taking the lives of their children, who they could not protect from the cold.
As part of their preparations for winter, displaced Syrians in tents and small houses in camps, use heating methods described as dangerous, with the argument that “the feeling of cold cannot be compared to the feeling of danger, especially if temperatures drop to a great extent.”
Citizens A24 interviewed expressed great dejection for their inability to properly prepare for this year’s winter due to the high costs of fuel and heating. A24 camera captured scenes of citizens collecting tree branches, plastic and nylon to produce heating and protect against the cold of winter.
According to human rights organizations, more than 1.5 million displaced people living in these camps has been struggling for the past 10 years with the same issues, including snow storms destroying their tents, preventing food and water from reaching them, and heavy rains submerging their tents. Unfortunately, the world continues to watch the tragic situation of displaced persons without taking action to end it.
– Soundbite (Rima Al-Khaled – Displaced person):
“We could not prepare for winter this year because of the high prices, we cannot afford to buy coal, fuel or firewood. We use blankets to stay warm. Heaters have not yet been distributed to people in the camp. Living conditions are very difficult with the high prices, we cannot afford anything. We collect plastic, nylon and used clothes for heating to protect ourselves from the bitter cold.”
– Soundbite (Mohamed Houry – Displaced person):
“As winter has come, we have collected broken and small branches for heating. Displaced persons are living in very poor condition and have no firewood for heating. Firewood used to cost $100 last year, but this year its price exceeded $250. Unfortunately, humanitarian organizations do not provide any aid. The tents are in very poor condition as well.”
– Soundbite (Ziad Al-Ali – Displaced person):
“Displaced persons cannot afford heating materials such as firewood and its derivatives because they are very expensive. Since I cannot afford firewood and fuel for heating, I knead carton and press it with a primitive piston until it takes form that is easy to ignite.”
– Shots of firewood and chaff.
– Soundbite (Khaled Haritani – Displaced person):
“Fuel this year is very expensive. Last year, we bought 2 tons of heating materials, but this year, due to the bad living conditions, we were only able to buy one ton, the money for which we borrowed. This year, winter will be difficult for those who do not have work, as conditions are becoming worse.”
– Soundbite (Mohammed Al-Adelbi – Trader):
“Firewood and its derivatives this year are very expensive for displaced persons. This year it has increased by 70% compared to last year, and demand is very low. This winter will be very difficult for people, as there is no work and the living conditions are very bad.”