Residents of the Bab al-Salamah camp on the Syrian-Turkish borders live in severe poverty and harsh living conditions, with no drinking water or sanitary facilities available and the threat of diseases and epidemics. Children in the camp are the most vulnerable.
"In open-air, Baba al-Salamah camp and the forgotten tragedy of displaced children," a report published by the Media office of the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition forces, detailed the suffering of the Syrian families in the camp where living conditions are extremely difficult and education and health are below the minimum requirements.
The camp is situated next to Bab al-Salamah crossing near Azaz, which has been controlled by the opposition for two years.
The camp covers an area of eight hectares, consisting of 2,341 tents and 100 caravans housing 2,441 families, or almost 15,600 people, the report said.
Only 1,600 school children out of 5,000 are at school, 1,200 at primary level.
People in the camp receive two meals, breakfast and dinner, but still people feel that food is not enough and lacks quality. Moreover, meat is rare and baby milk has been stopped in the last three months, which can affect children’s health and growth.
The health situation in Bab al-Salamah camp is very bad, with no sanitation, while sewage runs along the camp's roads. Water is provided by water stores and primary pipes distributed to some points in the camp, which sometimes results in water collecting on the muddy soil which cause health problems and the spread of diseases, which can cause epidemics.
There are around 1,000 cases of Leishmania because of insects and open sewage, while there are also fears of spreading cholera, typhoid, and many cases of diarrhoea.
According to the report, there is one medical point with eight doctors, but it is not enough to cover the camp’s needs.
There are 400 orphans in the camp, and 250 disabled children with special needs. No one can look after them, therefore they are forced to work for their living, especially carrying and transporting materials to and from the Bab al-Salamah crossing, which could cause them many health problems.
A child works one day a week for 2,000 SP to allow work opportunities for all, because the number of those seeking work is so large.
The report mentioned that 200 widows and 200 divorced women are living in the camp, responsible for their families, which force them to work in farming, leaving their children for a long time without care.
Translated and edited by The Syrian Observer