warns of the increasing collapses in Palestinian camps in Lebanon and calls for
providing safe housing for Palestinian refugees
The Palestinian Association for Human Rights
(Witness) follows up with great concern the cases of collapses of houses in the
Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon, that have increased significantly during
the past few months, adding to the crises that are afflicting about 250,000
Palestinian refugees in Lebanon whose lives are evidently threatened.
(Witness) has observed three cases at different
spots, including a collapse of a house ceiling in Burj Al-Barajneh camp last
February on the Palestinian refugee Issam Abu Taqah leading to an injury in his
head, in addition to the falling of a wall in a building of ten floors,
resulting in a woman’s death and injury of her 3 kids, 10 days ago.
Also, a family has miraculously survived the
collapse of some parts of the ceiling in Ain Al Helweh
camp. Though they have got an acceptance by the UNRWA for repairing their house
after examining its condition, the case was being procrastinated and thus the
incident occurred putting them in a real danger.
(Witness) has pointed out that the reasons
behind the exacerbation of such crisis are referred to the security
restrictions that hinders the smooth entry of building materials to the
Palestinian refugee camps, the utilization of water in construction with salinity
that exceeds 80%, and finally the absence of the role of the concerned
authorities in following up the restoration of buildings inside the camps.
UNRWA spokeswoman in Lebanon, Huda Al-Samra,
indicated that, according to the agency's latest statistics, seven thousand
homes need restoration in the Palestinian refugee camps. She explained that the
agency's general budget does not cover the restoration process, but rather the
financing of the restoration is secured through projects from donor countries.
With the accumulating challenges, the
Palestinian Association for Human Rights (Witness) calls for the following:
1.UNRWA to assume its responsibilities and conduct an engineering survey
of the homes that are at risk of collapsing and work to restore them as soon as
2.The Lebanese Government to mitigate security measures on the camps and
facilitate the entry of building materials into them.
3.The PLO and Palestinian factions to assume their responsibilities
towards the Palestinian refugees, contribute in the restoration processes in
the camps, and intensify the communication with the Lebanese government to
facilitate the entry of building materials.
Association for Human Rights (Witness)