Many Syrian refugee camps in Lebanon do not possess adequate drinking water, electricity, sanitation, or fuel as a source of heating in winter, as the camps lie beyond the official UN and NGO coverage, says activist Khalil Homsi.
Homsi revealed that Egyptian youths, along with a Syrian donor, have volunteered to buy 40 fireplaces and 7,800 liters of fuel for Arqa camp, in north Lebanon.
Homsi detailed current plans to replace Arqa’s camp with another including better living conditions, as attempts are underway to obtain land and help from the municipality to provide electricity, water and the development of roads on 2,500 sq m of land.
“The plan is to build mud houses on the land along with other caravans, where some people have donated wood and many other volunteers are ready for work, but the only obstacle is funding the license in the municipality, which costs USD $6,000”, the activist said.
Homsi added that camp would be able to accommodate up to 80 families, with a medical center, a school, and houses – each costing USD $500 for a residence containing two rooms, a bathroom and a kitchen.
“Most refugees in those camps are from Qalamoun. When they came to Lebanon, some people donated lands, others built a school and a medical point. They are far from some scattered camps which restricts residents using them, but we plan to build a medical center and school inside the new camp”.
Homsi explained camps in Lebanon are often neglected without services because they do not fall under official UN or NGO coverage. “They accommodate around 6,000 people, but (NGO) concentration on Arsal resulted in a neglect of other camps”
The activist claimed 800 people with disabilities are also facing extremely hard times as a result of inadequate living conditions.