The first phase of the rubble and solid waste removal project, which started implementation between 15.08.2019 and 12.13.2019, has ended.
It was important to deal with the issue of challenges and risks in this project after monitoring many risks in schools and destroyed buildings, that are used either for education or to accommodate the displaced people living in it. Moreover, most of the worksites are in direct contact with the residents, as the sites are surrounded by agricultural lands that are being invested by the owners.
The absence of any mine clearance institution in the area is one of the major challenges facing the project, as well as the security risks in the schools, which led to the interruption of work several times, such as finding a military pistol in the debris, finding a decomposed body under the rubble of the Western school in Al-Mheimieda, unexploded war remnants and unexploded projectiles in the school of Al-Gneina, a mine in the new school in Albu- masa, and venomous snakes and scorpions had been also found in the rubble in most locations.
Consequently, this project is considered one of the most influential projects in society, especially on children.
Children may use open spaces where rubble is located to play, because there are no places to play in war conditions. There are many photos of children playing on Rubble.
Despite the great danger in this, there is not enough awareness, incidents did not deter children and their families, and this rubble was still there, thus the danger couldn´t be permanently removed.
There were physical dangers as well as great psychological harm, especially in schools, so that teaching staff in these schools are aware of the dangers such as weapons and explosives, but they were forced to work in these conditions. All these dangers and causes had been dealt with at the beginning of the project.
Furthermore, the work of khotoat Organization was not only aimed at removing debris, but also at cleaning and removing waste and weeds.
The child Suleiman Ahmed Al-Abdullah, a pupil at the Western School in Al-Mheimida, expressed his psychological state before and after the end of the project: “…. We could not play in the yard as we wanted, because of the presence of a corpse under the rubble. We were also afraid that explosives might be with the body.
So many of my classmates did not come to school because of fear, and some of them did not come to school regularly. As for me, I used to come to school because I like to learn, but I was always afraid and could not focus. And now after removing the body and cleaning the school, we can move freely in the school.
As for the student Heba Khaled Al-Abed, a pupil at the school of Al-Gneina, she talked about the situation of her school before starting the project:
“…. There is no other school in our village, and we used to see explosive remnants, so we are very afraid, which made so many classmates drop out of school.
Explosives remind us of the war and the bombing that we have suffered over the past years.
Once removed, the school became safe, and we have now a great place to play. Explosives are no longer exist, and we no longer remember the war and bombing that we saw.