The internally displaced people of some camps in Idlib, northwestern Syria, on the Syrian-Turkish border, resort to use old methods for heating which lack health and safety components, in light of the deteriorated living conditions and the absence of basic services.
As they have been using coal for heating due to its low cost compared to diesel and firewood, despite the fact that it affects the health and may amount to death.
"Coal turns everything around into black and smells so bad that my kids get sick continuously because of it," said Faraj al-Yaseen, a displaced person from southern Idlib.
Sultan al-Badr, coal seller at al-Karama camps on the Syrian-Turkish border, said: "Three types of coal are available in the camps at different prices according to its quality. The white coal is the worst, while the blue is the best one."
While Abu Walid, a displaced person from al-Latamna, had to use tires rubber for heating, although he was well aware of the health damages resulting from them.
The "Syria Response Coordinators" team, a local organization concerned with documenting the humanitarian situation in the northwestern regions of Syria, documented on February 13 this year more than nine deaths in the camps of north-west of Syria during the last period, as a result of cold, burns and suffocation, in light of the continuing of new displacement waves from Idlib and Aleppo countryside.
A local source briefed to North-Press the death of some people because of the use of coal-fired ovens, which is considered unsafe.
Moreover, other refugees were forced to use animal dung, cloth pieces, and nylon as fuel for heaters because they were unable to secure firewood and fuel oil, as Um Mahmoud, a displaced woman from west of Aleppo, do.
On the other hand, Muhammad Khalil, the director of al-Na'ura camp, said in an interview with North-Press that most of the camp's residents do not have the ability to buy diesel, which costs 800 Syrian Pounds per liter, or firewood which costs more than 150 Syrian Pounds per kilo.
A camp administration official, who declined to be named, said that some humanitarian organizations and charities distribute heating fuel to the displaced people in the camps, however, it is not sufficient. Besides, "Hayat Tahrir al-Sham HTS imposes taxes on the region and takes about 30% of the diesel quantities, on the pretext of distributing it to the families of its militants."
The IDP camps in north-west of Syria are named after a group of camps located along the Syrian-Turkish border, north of Idlib governorate near the towns of Aqrabat, Qah, Kafr Lousin, al-Dana, Atma, Sarmada, and Mashhad Rohin, and are inhabited by more than two million displaced people from different Syrian areas, especially from Aleppo and Idlib.