Jordan [Syrian refugees]

Electricity in Za’atari Camp

2014.07.24

In a camp that accommodates approximately 100,000 refugees, the cost of utilities can also be exorbitant. The camp residents receive certain utilities, such as water and electricity for free, provided by various organizations, including UNHCR and UNICEF.

Water is trucked daily into various public water tanks, where refugees can come and collect their share of the water.  Electricity is provided for main services in the camp; however, refugees often make illegal connection by connecting their wires from the main line to their individual households.

[Illegal wires are connected to the main electricity line]
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Because of these individual connections, electricity bill exceeds USD 500,000 a month, which takes up a large portion of the operational fee of Za’atari Camp.  In particular, majority of the electricity is being consumed in one area of the camp: Champs Elysees Market Street.

Champ Elysees Street is home to about 600 shops in the camp.  These shops sell anything from food to clothes to electric appliances like washing machines, TVs, fans and even more computer game stations where children enjoyed playing games against each other.  Seeing these developments, it is no wonder that the electricity usage in the camp is very high.

[Electronic appliance store on Champs Elysees Street]
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[At the game arcade, children enjoy playing computer games]
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Because of these large costs required to run a refugee camp and the uncertainty related to how long the refugee camp will stay open, there is a dire need to consider adopting an assistance strategy focused on cost recovery.  To do this, there is a need to foster an environment where able refugees, particularly shop owners, begin paying for their own share of electricity and water usage.  As a first step, UNHCR will be setting a few hours during the day where they cut of the electricity in the camp to reduce the amount of electricity consumption and to introduce the idea of the payment system to refugees.

As a long-term camp management requires a strong engagement from the refugee community, these new developments are being implemented with close coordination with refugees. Not only electricity, but these longer-term planning is also necessary for water provision in the camp.  As JEN is a partner WASH actor in three districts, we continued to work with UNICEF, other WASH actors and the refugee community to improve ways water is delivered and distributed, in order to make lives in the camp more comfortable and sustainable.

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Disinfection of water tank

2014.07.10

The hot season has started in Jordan, and temperature is continuing to be more than 35 degrees in the day time. In conjunction with Ramadan, the heat warmth keeps us to have tough days here in Za-Atari camp.
This temperature makes concern of worsen hygiene situation in the camp. The refugees in Za-Atari are drinking water from the water tank which is set in various places. The water is distributed every day to the tank. But to keep the quality of this water, we need to be sure that the tank is also clean. If one of the tank contains pollute inside, it might affect health to hundreds of refugees. To avoid this risk, JEN’s staff is now working to disinfect the tanks in areas where we are working as focal organization of hygiene issue.

[Staffs climbing the roof of wash facility and cleaning the tank]
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In these areas, there are 311 tanks of water and our team is working to clean up 10 to 15 tanks every day with chlorine. The size of these tanks is 2 cubic meters, which is capable for 2,000L.

[Brushing the tank with chlorine spray]
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Polluted water can create serious health problem, and all refugees are using water from the tank.

We will do our best support to improve their life in Za-Atari not to harm them health of refugees.

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【Click here to know more about JEN 20th Anniversary innitiative】


12 Classrooms constructed in 4 schools in Irbid, Mafraq and Zarqa!

2014.06.26

Public schools in Jordan are originally overcrowded. Since huge number of Syrian refugee students enrolled into public schools, learning environment has become worse and worse. JEN has frequently found that classrooms are very narrow so that students even cannot move flexibly.

In order to solve over crowdedness, the Ministry of Education has operated double-shift schooling system. However, this double-shift system caused other problems. The duration of classes in double-shift schools is shorter than in one-shift schools besides the difficulty for students to accommodate the monthly swapping shifts.

Thus, JEN focused on classroom expansion and renovation water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) facilities as one of the host community programmes. Especially, the remote area in Irbid, Mafraq and Zarqa, where there is no other option for students commuting to schools mostly on foot. And in this time, we are able to inform that 12 Classrooms constructed in 4 schools in these area.

[An overcrowded classroom]
140626 無題1[Broken water fountain and latrine]
140626 無題2140626 無題3[A classroom designed by JEN engineers]
140626 無題4[Renovated water fountain and latrine]
140626 無題5140626 無題6Education for Syrian refugees has been a crucial problem since Syria Crisis past more than 3 years. Thus, and in response to the on-going crisis, JEN continues to implement classroom expansion projects in Jordan and to minimise the possibilities of losing any educational opportunity.

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A three- day hygiene promotion event in Za’atari camp

2014.06.12

June 5th is World Environment Day. JEN took this opportunity to organize hygiene promoting events in Za’atari camp for three days. On 3rd and 4th June, 2014, JEN’s hygiene promoters carried out some activities targeting children in Districts 3, 4 and 5 in order to teach them how to practice good personal hygiene.

[ hygiene promoters wrote message about hygiene on balloons]
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Daily practice of hygienic behavior such as washing hands and face, as well as brushing teeth, does not become a habit in one day. That’s why it is important to keep diffusing hygiene messages repeatedly. JEN hygiene promoters have developed many tools to convey hygiene messages to children, for example, games, songs, quiz and dance, so as to get the children interested in the hygiene promoting activities.

[ Demonstrating how to brush teeth]
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[ Children learning about hygiene ]
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On 5th June, JEN’s hygiene promoters organized focus group meetings with adults, where several issues of waterborne diseases such as diarrhea, as well as water conservation were discussed.

[Staffs give messages to refugees]
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On the same day, for the purpose of raising awareness of environmental protection, refugees planted seeding of Sage. Za’atari camp is located in the middle of desert with almost no trees, and refugees face problems such as bad drainage and unhygienic environment with a lot of flies and mice. In order that people improve the condition of living environment with good hygiene, it is of importance that refugees themselves take action to protect and promote good environment.

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[ hygiene promoters with good team work spirits]
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【JEN is now accepting donations. Your help would be very much appreciated.
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Fresh Off the Press! Za’atari Magazine gives refugees a new tool for communication

2014.05.29

In January 2014, JEN, in partnership with UNHCR, began a new endeavor to create a monthly Arabic magazine to be distributed in Za’atari Refugee Camp.  Living in a camp that spans up to 6 square kilometers, communication between refugees living in different districts can be difficult.  The magazine, written almost entirely by Syrian refugees themselves, aims to provide a new vehicle of communication between refugees living in Za’atari refugee camp.  In addition, the magazine will serve as a tool to spread messages related to better living in the camp by UN agencies and other humanitarian organizations, through the perspective of refugees.  By including positive stories written by refugees, JEN hopes that the magazine can also highlight the creativity if refugees living in the camp and showcase their resilience.

The inaugural issue was published at the end of April 2014 and distributed to all households in the camp – approximately 20,000 – during the first two weeks of May 2014.  The first issue includes stories of refugee hygiene promoters advocating for the importance of maintaining environmental hygiene and keeping solid waste pollution to the minimum in the camp; stories from children who enjoy spending their time in sports clubs that are offered by humanitarian organizations; stories from a refugee whose child’s health was recovered through nutrition programs that are offered in the camp; and a poem from a girl who reminisces her life back in Syria and hopes to be reunited with her beloved home.

[An older girl reads one of the articles to younger girls.]
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[A father and son reading the first issue of Za’atari Magazine.]
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The magazine “Al Tarik (The Road)” was given its name to reflect on the journey refugees have made to come to Za’atari and to signify the hope for the future – that the life in the camp is just a temporary stop and there is a road ahead back to Syria.

[The “Road” in Za’atari]
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Though the articles are written by refugees, the magazine is currently coordinated and edited by Jordanian staff.  As the magazine gets good traction among refugees in Za’atari Camp, JEN plans to work with other organizations to create training opportunities in skills related to magazine development, such as journalism and graphic designing, so that, over time, the magazine can be entirely written and produced by Syrian refugees.  By doing so, the project can also create opportunities for the refugees, especially youth who makes up a large majority of the camp residents, to be involved in activities that can improve their lives at the camp.

【JEN is now accepting donations. Your help would be very much appreciated.
DONATE here