Thunderstorms, torrential rain and snow destroying Syrian refugees’ tents in Lebanon
Thunderstorms, torrential rain and snow destroying Syrian refugees’ tents in Lebanon:
Every winter, snow covers Arsal, a mountain town on the Lebanese-Syrian border, after successive snowstorms that are common in such mountainous areas, leaving the Syrian refugee camps in a miserable state
Refugee tents are flooded with water or destroyed by snow. The temperature is ranging between -4 and -8 degrees Celsius
Fatima Al-Hajji, a Syrian activist, explained that there are two types of disasters befall refugee camps after storms. The first type, Fatima says, hits Arsal region in the northern Bekaa, where snow does not differentiate between the rich and the poor. As for the second type of disaster, it affected the central and eastern regions, where entire camps flooded
Fatima estimates that there are thousands of families who have not received any aid including heating oil last winter
"We call for help without success"
Eight years ago, Aladdin Tarn might have complained that the water in his house was cut off during rationing times, but he never imagined that he would complain about the flooding of water in his house - or rather, his tent - one day
The harsh winter in the Syrian refugee camps in Lebanon is not a new issue for Alaa and his neighbors, but with the coming of freezing snowstorms, they have moved to a new phase of the Syrian displacement
Alaa, a father of four children, chose to stay in his tent. He says in his conversation with us: "I use firewood to warm my family, as diesel is not available, and if it is there we keep it for the coldest nights. We only use the heater when we're literally about to freeze
On some days of the storm, the water was sixty centimeters above the ground, however, Alaa and his family did not leave the camp to join other families in the shelters
Helem Amer, 85 years old, said while wrapping herself in a blanket inside her flimsy tent, “I cannot do anything for myself .. I have no oil for heating.. I have nothing ... There is no one to help us but God.”
Abdullah Muqdah who also lives in Arsal added, “We don't have diesel. People are tearing clothes and burning them with plastic to keep warm. This is the worst situation we have faced in years
The torrents also made the mattresses wet with water… Many tents are destroyed, forcing families to flee. "There are elderly and sick people ...
There are many tents in which three or two families live together; those whose tent is damaged, they go and live with their relatives or neighbor". "Snow and the cold are merciless," he added
It is worth noting that the suffering of the Syrians is increasing more and more and exacerbated with the onset of winter
The Syrians fled from the hell of bombardment to the asylum camps, hoping that it would protect them from the madness and woes of war. Sadly, the curses of displacement chased them, as the cold inflicted the bodies of their children, and the rainwater permeated their tents, drowning their beds and leaving them under the mercy of frost.