Thousands of Syrian families and children living in Arsal, Lebanon face having their homes demolished in the next few days or tearing them down themselves, after the deadline for removing all refugee shelters built with materials other than timber or plastic sheeting passed.
The alternatives for these families remain unclear. Some have started demolishing their homes, and setting up flimsy tents nearby, others are waiting to see if the authorities take a decision to move forward.
Bushra*, 34, a Syrian mother of 3 children aged 13, 12 and 3, who has been living in Arsal for seven years, said:
“They sent us a notice that we had to demolish (our houses), it was before the Eid. We started demolishing (the house), and the ceiling fell off, and we left, and we're now waiting for someone to come give us wood and tarpaulin to continue with the demolition.
The whole camp is demolished, not just me, they said that all the houses had to be demolished. But I have a small child, she has asthma, we can't stay outside, because of the sun.
The whole line of tents where we are, they've been all demolished. We are waiting for someone to come and register us, but I have small children, where are they going to sleep?”
For interviews, call Jess Brennan on 0421 334 918.