Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Management for Tented, Informal and Non-Permanent Settlements

Lead Research Organisation: University of Cambridge
Department Name: Engineering


Nearly 1.5 million refugees from Palestine and Syria can be found in Lebanon, which has the largest refugee per capita population in the world. For over seventy years, people have lived in twelve official emergency settlements in Lebanon; these not only have deteriorated over time but also cannot provide the necessary water and sanitation infrastructure for the influx of new inhabitants. However, Lebanon, with its mountains and aquafers has the capacity to increase its clean water supply, but limited resources in implementing new technologies. Furthermore, lack of sanitation facilities is known to increase mortality rates, cases of diseases such as cholera, and decrease in livelihood such as education and economic opportunities. On the island of Lesbos, in Greece, 9,000 refugees are housed in a capacity for just over 3,000 in the Moria camp. This not only poses the issue of over-crowding, but lack of water and sanitation facilities, with clean water being scarce and water sources stagnant. Considering that the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development aims to "ensure access to water and sanitation for all," it is imperative that refugees within these settlements (either on a long-term or short-term basis) are also provided with these amenities. The technological (due to the water and energy needs of the location and wants of the stakeholders), economic (the cost of the technology and funding available) and political (due to political resistance to permanent infrastructure) resilience of the water and sanitation infrastructure will be looked at in refugee camps, with an emphasis on case studies (such as Greece and Lebanon).
Information including a baseline assessment, the creation of a WASH questionnaire, and the opinions of Afghan refugees on their (current and potential future) wastewater facilities in the refugee settlement in Moria, Lesbos, Greece already exists from the researcher's previous work. Whilst frameworks, SPHERE Guidelines, other advice for humanitarian aid, infrastructure and water and sanitation exist, the need is evident from the lack of enforcement and deployment of the water and sanitation infrastructure.


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
EP/S02302X/1 30/09/2019 30/03/2028
2277522 Studentship EP/S02302X/1 30/09/2019 25/12/2023 Fania Christodoulides