UNRWA MECHANIZES SOLID WASTE MANAGEMENT PROCESS IN MARKA AND ZARKA CAMPS
06 November 2014
In a step towards mechanizing the collection and disposal of solid waste, the Director of UNRWA Operations in Jordan, Roger Davies, has launched seven mini-compactors in Marka and Zarka camps. This pilot initiative aims at improving waste management in both camps, where it is currently conducted manually by sanitation laborers using wheelbarrows in Marka camp and hand carts in Zarka camp.
Speaking at a launch ceremony, Mr. Davies said: “This new method of collecting and disposing of solid waste has multiple benefits. It solves the issue of waste collection points in Marka camp, and reduces the health risks to the laborers who manually haul the waste long distances in both camps. It will result in substantial savings in the solid waste management budget.”
The launch ceremony was attended by the Mayor of Russaifeh Municipality Osama Haymoor, Department of Palestinian Affairs representative and Chair of the Camp Services Committee Khalaf Deghdashi, local community members and officials from the Government of Jordan and UNRWA.
Mr. Haymoor said he appreciated continuous UNRWA efforts to improve the services provided to Palestine refugees in camps. He stressed the municipality’s willingness to facilitate UNRWA work in Marka camp, saying: “The solid waste management agreement between the municipality and UNRWA was concluded for 2014 at a rate that is close to cost price, in support of UNRWA and Palestine refugees in Jordan.”
Representing the Government of Jordan, Mr. Deghdashi reiterated the government’s support to Palestine refugees in the Kingdom. He said: “The Camp Services Committee is keen to continue cooperation and coordination with the Agency concerning all issues inside Marka camp. UNRWA is a major partner with which we work together on daily basis to improve the living conditions of Palestine refugees inside the camp.”
UNRWA is a United Nations agency established by the General Assembly in 1949 and is mandated to provide assistance and protection to a population of some 5 million registered Palestine refugees. Its mission is to help Palestine refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, West Bank and the Gaza Strip to achieve their full potential in human development, pending a just solution to their plight. UNRWA’s services encompass education, health care, relief and social services, camp infrastructure and improvement, and microfinance.
Financial support to UNRWA has not kept pace with an increased demand for services caused by growing numbers of registered refugees, expanding need, and deepening poverty. As a result, the Agency's General Fund (GF), supporting UNRWA’s core activities and 97 per cent reliant on voluntary contributions, has begun each year with a large projected deficit. Currently the deficit stands at US$ 56 million.
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