In a beautiful cooperation between three different organizations, the Permaculture Research Institute, Muslim Aid Australia and the Japanese Emergency Network, an opportunity for setting a demonstration site in the Za’atarti Syrian Refugee Camp in Jordan was conceived.
The site is the Japanese Emergency Network’s headquarters inside the refugee camp, the funding came through the generous donations from Muslim Aid Australia and the expertise in setting up the simple systems was from us in the Jordan Permaculture Research Institute.
We managed to setup two simple systems that could be easily replicated throughout the camp. One was the wicking bed system which allows a very water efficient gardening for arid areas and can be setup in small spaces to provide healthy and nutritious vegetables and greens with very minimal possibly from recycled materials.
The second system we put in was a small grey water filtration gravel bed, this was requested as a solution to the water availability problem they are facing in the camp.
Since the residents are keen gardeners and are from farming heritage and due to the fact that food is expensive in the camp, a lot of people garden and grow food outside their doorsteps. To do so they rely on their grey water straight from the sinks as irrigation water but this is not the ideal situation since the water would be salty and can cause salting of the soil they are gardening in. That is why we installed a grey water filtration gravel bed to filter the irrigation water they need for their gardens.
With 70,000 refugees living in shacks, caravans and sometimes in tents since 2012, small simple solutions like these provide that little bit of hope for an easier life one day.
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