Syrian refugees are facing up to making it through another harsh winter in the camps of Lebanon with the country’s rainy season and plummeting temperatures adding to their woes.
Due to limited resources and bitter conditions, most of the one million Syrian refugees in Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley find themselves in a difficult situation to cope with the cold weather.
Munzer Hamad, an official at a local camp which holds about 750 people from more than 100 Syrian families, said many of the displaced people are struggling in the tough environment due to a shortage of necessities.
“Many families suffer from a lack of heating. That’s the single biggest problem facing us. Materials like stoves and blankets are necessities in winter. Just like what we often say, one can go to sleep with an empty stomach, but not in the coldness. Some families can make themselves warm by burning diesel or firewood in stoves, but other families simply can’t. They only have iron pots to burn firewood in, but that will produce a large amount of smoke, which in turn makes it difficult to breathe,” said Hamad.
Hamad added that though the Syrian crisis is entering its eighth year, the camp still sees many more refugees coming, placing a strain on the facilities.
In addition to the coldness, continuous rain in winter only make things worse for the refugees seeking shelter in Lebanon.
Iman Khoder said her family has stayed at the camp for four years. Her tent leaks despite being installed with several layers of nylon fabric.
“Our tent is submerged in rainwater and it’s in a horrible condition. I put my kids aside. At the same time, I and my husband have to keep manually removing water from our tent,” she said.
Khoder said she hopes the rainy season can be over soon and that her family can avoid becoming sick.