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Proje Adı: 

Understanding the impacts of limited fuel choices in Syrian internally displaced camps: A mixed- methods investigation into household practices and indoor air pollution

Proje Süresi:  15/03/2022 - 15/09/2022 (6 Ay) 

Proje Özeti:  

Background: In August 2020, according to the Response Coordination Group, the non-profit organization for humanitarian response to the Syrian crisis, the total number of refugee camps in northern Syria was 1,293, which were accommodating 1,044,000 displaced Syrians, including 282 unofficial camps which were accommodating 185,557 displaced (Yosef, 2021). Overnight, the majority found themselves in refugee camps in a small zone in the north and have struggled to meet their basic needs. Securing household fuels for heating and cooking is a big challenge. NGOs have responded to the tragedy and started to provide a variety of  stoves and fuels such as Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG), and biomass, such as olive pomace pellets and briquettes, hazelnuts and pistachio shells. All of these were emergency solutions with little concern for the consequences for indoor air pollution, and hence on health. The side effects of the new circumstances have started to emerge, deforestation, smoke clouds, and surge in a number of patients, some individuals started logging from olive tree farms to produce wood for domestic consumption, it is not known whether it is temporal practices or not. On the bright side, solar panels can now be seen everywhere, and have become a part of almost every household. It is unknown whether solar panels are only being used for lighting or other utilizations. All of these practices were with little concern for the consequences such as the environmental issues, fire accidents, air pollution, and diseases.However, very little information was found in both academic and the grey literature regarding energy use for space heating and cooking, as well as the impact of the energy use on quality of life and the environment in the Syrian context. Although many local news agencies have reported the situation, for example, a local news agent reported in 25.Feb.2021 that space heating systems were causing general health issues for many in northern Syrian and the black smoke is covering the camps and exacerbating asthma for the refugees (Alamal, 2021). This is because some people are collecting cardboard, plastic, and old clothes for burning to produce heat for cooking or for space heating. According to the same agent, a local doctor said: We are receiving countless emergency cases every day of children and elderly, who suffer from severe shortness of breath andpneumonia; Especially from the border areas of Atma, “refugee camps”, and from the large Deir Hassan camp. We provided them with doses of spray and oxygen and give them the appropriate medicines, and these cases increase with the increase in the proportion of cold waves and low temperatures, which caused great respiratory diseases for most of the camp residents (Alamal, 2021). In another news agent reported, there are several types of primitive stoves using divers’ type of fuel have been common based on the availability and costs such as LPG, oil, coal, hazelnuts and pistachio shells, olive pomace, The agent reported that several cases of fires and suffocation have occurred, as a result of the use of primitive stoves for heating and cooking, as happened in the “Al-Hol” camp in Al Hasakah and the “Al-Bal” camp in Soran Azaz in the northern countryside of Aleppo(AL-khateeb, 2020).Air pollution due to fuel consumption: Air pollution has been estimated in several places which exceeds the safe limits determined by World Health Oraganisation (WHO). El Morabet (2019) explained that burning solid fuel produces Particle Matter (PM) of different sizes that will contain pollutants, while burning fossil fuel produces gaseous pollutants (e.g., CO, SO2, NOx, VOCs, O3).
WHO determined the air quality guidelines in terms of the density of particulate matter (PM2.5), “solid material with diameter less than 2.5 micrometres”, as follows: The average PM2.5 concentrations should not exceed 10 μg/m3 annually and 25 μg/mover 24 h; and, that average NO2 concentrations should not exceed 40 μg/m3 annually and 200 μg/m(WHO, 2006).
China: To give examples of these dangerous cases, Chen estimated the PM to be 38 μg/m3 nationwide in rural China (Chen et al. 2018) which is more than the safe limit by WHO.
India: Similarly, Sidhu et al. (2017) also estimated The average concentration of PM2.5 in India to be 549.6 μg/m3 , while CO was 4.2 ppm, both of which exceed the safe limits determined by WHO. Sidhu ranked according to air pollution from worst, as follows: cow dung cakes> agricultural residue> firewood> biogas>LPG.
Ukraine: Accordingly, Morhulova et al. (2018) estimated the air pollution due to coal use in Ukraine in terms of measuring concentration of PM10 and PM2.5 at 7 different locations. PM10 levels were from 11 to 67 μg/m³, while PM2.5 levels were from 4 to 47 μg/m³. 43% excess of WHO (Morhulova et al., 2018). Additionally, space heating will contribute to Indoor Air Pollution (IAP) with more solid fuel combustion and worse ventilation ( Chen et al., 2018) (MEP, 2013).
Health Issues: In general fuel consumption has certain environmental and social consequences, such as deforestation, global warming, outdoor and Household Air Pollution (HAP), domestic fire accidents, and health issues. El Morabet (2019) explained that pollutants emitted by fuel combustion had a direct effect on respiratory systems, and caused hematological problems and increased risk of cancer. Accordingly, Hvidtfeldt et al. ( 2019) found an association between exposure to PM2.5, PM10, Black carbon, and NO2 and cardiovascular disease mortality during his investigation on a Danish cohort of 49,564 individuals. Adding to the topic, Mohapatra et al. proved that exposure to PM2.5 and PM10 cause direct health problems such as nose and eyes irritation (Mohapatra et al., 2018). Similarly, (Williams et al., 2016) and (Xing et al., 2016) found that the smaller particles can enter the respiratory system and cause more severe symptoms and increase the disease rates. Williams et al. ( 2016) found an
association between low birth weight in the first trimester of pregnancy, as a public health indicator, and PM2.5 exposure, based on statistical data of all babies born in New Jersey, USA, in 2008 and PM2.5 recordings from 20 monitoring sites made by the Department of Environmental Protection. Smith et al. (2014) reported that HAP has caused 3.9 million early deaths and 4.8% of lost healthy living in 2010. Fu et al (2019) recommended that governments should exert greater effort to improve air quality when a clear association between PM2.5 exposure and neurological diseases, such as stroke, dementia, Alzheimer's disease, autism spectrum disorder, Parkinson's disease, and mild cognitive impairment was identified through their review of 1645 articles covering 26 countries, although Syria is not amongst them. There is a lack of publications on air pollution in Syria.
Proposal: Whilst there has been a range of research on air pollution carried out in numerous countries, looking at its prevalence, causes and consequences, there is a significant knowledge gap in relation to Syria, all the more important given thecontext of war in which millions have been displaced to temporary shelter in the North Investigating household energy practices and the direct consequences relative to IAP will help to shed light on potential misuse of fuels and the harmful  and dangerous consequences, helping to bridge knowledge gaps and give the answers to questions such as:
• What types of fuel are currently used for powering houses and camps in
northern Syria?
• Which type of fuel contributes the most to indoor air pollution, and how are
fuels ranked in terms of air pollution?
• Are there any noticeable implications of particular energy practices?
• What is the refugee satisfaction towards the heating system and what the
difficulties and problems?
• What are the recommendations for residents or to organizations who are
providing heating materials aid to refugees?
Proje Toplam Bütçesi : 92.900.00 TL
Proje Ekibi:  
DR. ÖĞR. ÜYESİ Sohayb Abdulkerim ( Proje Lideri)
Doktora öğrencisi, Abeer AMIN            ( Araştırmacı) 
DR. ÖĞR. ÜYESİ Ghada Alymany       (Araştırmacı)
Dr, Monica Mateo Garcia,                     (Danışman)
Dr Neil Simcock                                    ( Danışman) 


Understanding the impacts of limited fuel choices