A year and a half ago, a resident of Moadhamiyet a-Sham began producing natural gas for daily use at home with barrels, plastic tubing and waste.

Now, about 50 families in the encircled town southwest of Damascus are able to cook and sterilize water thanks to this technique that produces enough gas for six hours per day, Abu Ahmad al-Moadhamani, a spokesman for the Moadhamiyet LCC, told Syria Direct on Wednesday.

Moadhamiyet was the first Syrian town to enter into a truce with the regime in late 2013 after enduring an airtight, year-long encirclement and a devastating chemical attack.

In exchange for rebels handing over heavy weaponry, the Assad government agreed to open a passage into the city to allow in food, medicine and supplies. 

But last August, the regime re-imposed the blockade on the Moadhamiyet’s 45,000 residents as part of a new campaign to drive a wedge between the town and neighboring rebel-held Darayya. Here, Syria Direct collaborated with Moadhamiyet’s LCC to present a snapshot of life under blockade.