UNRWA Sweeps in to Tackle Massive Waste Dilemma in Palestinian Camps

The Problem

Palestinian refugee camps face a monumental waste management challenge. Years of conflict and limited infrastructure have resulted in overflowing landfills and rampant illegal dumping, posing severe threats to health and the environment. With a population of over 5 million people living in overcrowded camps, the sheer volume of waste generated is staggering.

UNRWA’s Solution

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) has launched a comprehensive waste management strategy to address this crisis. The initiative involves:

  • Waste collection and transportation: Implementing regular waste collection services in all camps, including segregated collection of recyclables.
  • Waste reduction and recycling: Promoting behavioral changes to reduce waste generation and establishing recycling programs.
  • Sanitation infrastructure: Constructing and rehabilitating sanitation facilities to improve access to basic services.
  • Community involvement: Engaging local communities in the planning and implementation of the program.

Progress and Challenges

UNRWA has made significant strides in tackling the waste dilemma.

  • 98% of camps now have regular waste collection services.
  • Over 1 million kg of recyclable materials have been collected and processed.
  • 50 vicissfiltration plants have been constructed to treat wastewater.

However, challenges persist:

  • Limited funding and infrastructure gaps impede expansion of the program.
  • Behavioral change and public awareness campaigns need to be strengthened.
  • Access to recycling facilities and composting options need to be increased.

Long-Term Vision

UNRWA’s ultimate goal is to establish sustainable waste management systems in all camps. This includes:

  • Promoting circular economy principles through increased reuse and recycling.
  • Investing in renewable energy solutions to power sanitation and waste management facilities.
  • Empowering local communities through job creation and capacity building.


1. What are the main sources of waste in Palestinian camps?

The main sources of waste are household waste, construction debris, agricultural waste, and healthcare waste.

2. How does UNRWA address the issue of illegal dumping?

UNRWA conducts regular awareness campaigns and provides alternative waste disposal options to discourage illegal dumping.

3. What are the benefits of UNRWA’s waste management program?

The program improves public health, protects the environment, and creates job opportunities.

4 vicissfiltration plants treat wastewater, reducing water pollution.


Comments are closed

Recent Posts