Better Hygiene means a Better Life


Many Syrian refugees in the region struggle with harsh water and sanitation conditions, especially with the weather becoming colder. CARE helps by installing water and sanitation facilities, fixing infrastructure and providing hygiene promotion for Syrian refugees and local communities in different areas in Lebanon. As we appraoch World Toilet Day on November 19, CARE staffers examine the harsh conditions of Syria's refugees. 

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Nabiha shares her electricity, fridge and washing machine for free with her neighbors who are in a worse situation than her. "I share our electricity generator with two of my neighbors for free as they live in very bad conditions, with no incomes and have big families. I feel I must help them because humanity is all we have and can do for each other." CARE conducted WASH repairs for 123 houses in North Lebanon. CARE installed and repaired water tanks, water heaters, sinks, mixers and latrines as well as distributed hygiene items, baby items and latrine kits. 

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Sanaa's family benefited from CARE's water and sanitation repairs in their household. Repairs were made in their bathroom and kitchen, creating a safer environment for the family. "Since CARE undertook these essential repairs, my family and I have been able to shower, cook and clean without fearing electric shocks, as the water used to leak on the electric cables for the water heater.”

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In this very basic improvised camp in Mount Lebanon area, 33 families live in tents and temporary shelters in an olive grove owned by a local family, headed by “Mr. Ali” as he is known by the refugees. The families had previously lived in an unused school for three months, but when the new school owner wanted to reopen it, all the families were evicted. Mr. Ali has paid for the construction of the shelters, a WASH block and prayer room, and also provides water and limited power. There are only two toilets for women and two toilets for men. Although there are more than 100 additional families wanting to move to the camp, they cannot be accommodated due to lack of funding to build new shelters and water and sanitation facilities. 

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Silver Star used to be a school. When the influx of Syrian refugees to the Chouf area in Mount Lebanon increased in late 2011, the school owner decided to turn it into a collective shelter of the same name. Silver Star now hosts more than 30 Syrian families sharing bathrooms and facilities. CARE installed large water containers from which all resident refugees can access water for different uses. CARE also installed a sun pillar heating system to heat the water up in the building. “I did what I had to do to help these people,” says Mohammed Fawaz, owner of Silver Star school. “I would like to thank CARE a lot for their great help. Installing these water containers and sun pillars was very necessary. Until these improvements, refugees had not been able to afford to buy water.”

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Syrian refugee families had been forced to use bathrooms for sanitation and kitchens. The family of Ayyoub put the gasoline tank and mini cooker next to the sink in the small room where they live in Al Mina area in Tripoli, Lebanon. “We know it is unclean and unsafe, but we have no other option,” says Ayyoub. CARE helped through its WASH project by installing water heaters and fixing the water infrastructure. 

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CARE International in Lebanon, in cooperation with partner Somoud Foundation, held a Hand Washing Festival for children from Syrian refugee families and local beneficiaries. The event took place in the beginning of November in Qalamoun, Tripoli and included games, theatre performances and songs for children in order to raise awareness of good hygiene practices in poorer quality living conditions, in addition to distributing hygiene materials and coloring kits in cooperation with UNICEF. 

Written by Mahmoud Shabeeb, Regional Communications Officer for the Syria Response