With our team of 220 resident volunteers, we will clear 1750 tons of trash on Lesvos and Samos, providing cleaner, safer and healthier living conditions for 12,000 refugees residing in the makeshift areas outside camp Moria and camp Vathy. The project also has a significant effect on the Greek community as the rubbish collected is no longer spilling into their villages or contaminating rivers. Even more so as we also organise beach and village clean-ups with the local residents.
The refugee crisis still has a colossal impact on the Greek islands. The official camps are still spilling over extensively, resulting in large makeshift areas in the neighbouring olive groves and forests. With no services available there, the result is a huge overflow of waste. The waste attracts rats and snakes, creating unsafe and unhealthy living conditions for the refugees. It contaminates rivers and spills into neighbouring villages, thus having an effect on the overall environment.
For two years now Movement On The Ground implements a successful waste management program as part of our mission to dignify living conditions of refugees at the camps. Every day our teams of resident volunteers go out into the makeshift areas to collect full garbage bags from the tents, hand out new ones and collect litter floating around. We then rent garbage trucks to dispose of the waste collected. In addition, we organise frequent beach, river and village cleanups with the local communities.
Besides the effects on the islands' environment and the health and safety of the refugees, the project has more long-term benefits. The waste collection is done by 220 resident volunteers, providing a purpose to their day while supporting their community. We actively separate plastic waste, mostly empty water bottles, so that it is no longer dumped in landfills but recycled instead. The beach and village clean-ups we organise, help to build bridges between the refugee and local communities.