As the winter months approach, Syrians who fled to makeshift camps in the northern Latakia countryside near the border with Turkey are now scrambling to prepare for colder and wetter weather without any assistance from aid organizations, which have largely ignored the rebel-held northern sliver of the regime-dominated province.
“We implore all the humanitarian organizations for help,”Abd al-Jabbar Khalil, the director of six camps for internally displaced Syrians in northern Latakia, told Syria Direct on Monday, adding that there is “a lack of interest in the situation.”
Without sufficient equipment, winterizing is proving difficult for the 1,600 families who fled other areas in Latakia, Jisr a-Shughour and Sahl al-Ghab [Syria’s plains] over the past two years and now live in six different camps scattered throughout the mountainous border region that Khalil oversees.
“Residents need new tents rather than the tattered ones they currently have and they need supplies and equipment to dig drainage channels,” said Khalil, who provided Syria Direct with the above pictures of dilapidated tents in one of the camps.
Camp residents have already started digging drainage channels by hand and paving the camp with stones to keep water from accumulating and flooding their tents, reported pro-opposition Al-Hal A-Suri on Saturday.
Last winter, residents of the northern Latakia camps heated their tents with firewood and tried to keep them dry with simple nylon tarps, said Khalil.
Syrians nationwide are already making preparations for winter’s chill. Last month, young men in West Ghouta picked through the rubble of houses destroyed by regime barrel bombs looking for wood to use as fuel.
Photos courtesy of Abd al-Jabbar Khalil.