Informal Tented Settlements Vulnerability Assessment (North Lebanon)
This report is the result of 4 months of field data collection from April to August 2013 carried out in the Informal Tented Settlements (ITS) of the two districts of Zgharta and Minieh-Dennieh by SOLIDARITÉS INTERNATIONAL’s (SI) outreach workers. During the assessment, the outreach team visited 46 ITS and interviewed around 590 households out of the 1.098 registered in May in the settlements.
The objective of the assessment was to have more insight into the refugees’ vulnerabilities in informal tented settlements and more particularly, with regards to WASH and shelter needs which were identified as the most critical ones. This report is also the opportunity to reveal the potential differences in terms of profile and vulnerabilities between refugees staying in ITS and refugees staying in other types of shelter as well as to use information collected as a baseline for monitoring the dynamics in the ITS (demographic evolution, profile of refugees, etc…).
Following the analysis of the findings of the survey and based on direct observations from the outreach workers, four main sectors of intervention were assessed as top priorities. The surveys showed that the majority of the tents are not considered to be weatherproofed and more than 75% of the households surveyed stated that they did not have a heating system. In light of the coming winter, weatherproofing of tents in the settlements should therefore be considered as a priority.
In addition, water testing results that have been carried out on 15 sources of water used by refugees in the ITS, show that 80% of the water points used for drinking water are contaminated and only 3% of the refugees interviewed are treating water before using it, revealing a high prevalence (27.8%) of diarrhea cases among the targeted population. Access to sanitation facilities is inadequate for most ITS, the toilets used being overcrowded (65.6% of the households reporting having to share the same toilet with more than 15 people), not functioning properly and unhygienic for a great majority of them (75%).
Finally, lack of knowledge about subsidized healthcare services hinders access to health care for registered refugees, as they fear they won’t be able to afford health fees and treatment. Awareness about the health services provided to refugees should be prioritized by health organizations as well as a mapping of those services. Presence of mobile teams should be increased to enhance screening and referral.