Unquestionably, Lebanon is moving closer to a state breakdown, which is plunging the nation farther and deeper into chaos. State-run schools are not working, banks are still stealing depositors' wealth, the value of the local currency is declining, and there is still a shortage of energy. Individuals are going through a difficult winter and are having to rely more on themselves every day.
The urban rooftop project is hopefully still ongoing, thanks to your contributions and other external helps. Families as a whole get some relief when they have access to their own vegetables and herbs and are guaranteed to receive a minimum amount of nutrients in the form of minerals and vitamins. Some people would only eat grains if they didn't have access to those free vegetables.
Jafra started installing greenhouses on each participant's rooftop to increase the profitability of the rooftops, particularly during the winter when fewer varieties are growing. The greenhouses were custom-made to fit each rooftop's specific terrain and participant expectations.
Whether they are still newly installed, some of the greenhouses are already productive and participants enjoy not only their harvests but also the new settings on their rooftop and the daily activity it provides to them. Season after season, the participants learn new techniques and become more professional. In a next step, Jafra will intend to develop the peer-to-peer knowledge transmission to equip new rooftops of the refugee camps in Lebanon. Your new contributions will serve to equip the new rooftops.
A difficult summer has just come to an end in Lebanon where, despite the deteriorating situation, the rooftop owners taking part in the urban rooftop project continued to take care of their plantations to prevent them from dying under the scorching sun. Fortunately, your kind donations made a difference in the situation because enough water was provided to everyone and several rooftops were equipped with drip irrigation systems to prevent overusing the already limited water supply.
Many different herbs and vegetables could be harvested during the summer and eaten by the participants and their families, but not only them. Many of our urban rooftop farmers started to produce enough to share. For instance, Manal shares the majority of her harvests with the people who live in her building. As a result, the neighborhood is given a pleasant atmosphere and a renewed sense of community.
Jafra is currently preparing the rooftop owners for a fresh beginning—a new season. This means that each camp receives additional trainings. Meanwhile, owners are prepared to receive a greenhouse each within a month. In order to have greenhouses constructed by Jafra volunteers in time for Lebanon's winter, measurements are now being made. Whether participants own rooftops with a large planted surface or plant smaller surfaces like balconies or window sills, Jafra's agronomist continues to follow up with all of them.
With the support of your past donations, we were able to install drip irrigation systems on some rooftops; nevertheless, we still have to equip the other half of our planters and still need to buy fresh water for those who are the less well-off. The economic situation is getting worse by the day and, with the prospect of a further high rise in costs at the beginning of November—all taxes are expected to cost 10 times as much as they did previously— our gardeners still count on your generosity.
We strive to help people develop self-reliance so they won't consider taking perilous routes out of the country in search of a better life somewhere else.
It's the start of summer in Lebanon, and residents of the congested Palestinian camps are bracing for scorching temperatures, especially as electricity remains scarce, as well as the plants on their urban rooftops, which are now cherished by their owners.
Rooftop owners in 3 Palestinian camps now have direct access to fresh veggies and herbs, as well as eggs and chicken for some, thanks to you. This is crucial at a time when food security for Lebanon's impoverished and refugee populations is being jeopardized by not only the internal but also the international situation (Russia-Ukraine war).
Participants in the project not only learned how to plant, but they also received composting training and a compost machine. Finally, approximately 100 non-rooftop owners were invited to planting classes and actively encouraged to start plantings in their kitchens, balconies, or window sills. The measure allowed for a greater number of camp residents to have direct access to vitamins and minerals, reducing their reliance on the collapsing market.
During the summer, urban rooftop sustainability remains a challenge; in the camps, people do not have access to fresh, non-saline water from the tap. As a result, they must purchase bottled fresh water for personal consumption and to water the plants, which can consume a significant amount of water during the summer. Water has also become a highly expensive good as a result of the ongoing economic downturn, and it is difficult to provide huge amounts of water inside the camps due to their geography.
Your future contributions will be used to construct a pipe system so that rooftops can have easier access to fresh water, as well as to purchase water for urban gardeners who cannot afford enough for their plants.
In Lebanon, populations are bracing through the harder winter seen in decades in the region. Beyond the now well-known disastrous economic situation, which makes it difficult to buy the goods to meet the basic needs for more than half of the population, people are currently facing a new challenge; how to stay warm and healthy during this cold winter as Covid-19 spreads more than ever.
Nevertheless, the participants to the Urban Rooftops Farming project are attached to their rooftop gardens and find a kind of salvation there; it brings them and their family food they can rely on to have a minimum calories and vitamins intake. They also find a psychological relief to be working in their garden, which steers them away from possible negative coping mechanisms.
Jafra makes continuous improvements to the urban rooftop gardens in the Palestinian camps where the project exists. Jafra’s agronomist teaches new planting techniques, how to water crops in such a way as to save water, how to renew the soil, nourish it, reproduce seeds.
A great step has been taken thanks to all of you. Today, our fight is to maintain the urban gardens, to continue to spread the word to increase their number and to open the project in other Palestinian camps, because we have studied that the impact on the participating families is definitely positive in all respects.
Since our last report, Lebanon is doing nothing else than falling into a hole that seems having no bottom. Population is exhausted by the continuous high inflation, the consequences of the Beirut blasts that are still after 1year left without answers, the pandemic that doesn’t seem to end and, more recently, with new consequences of a complete fall down of the state; lack of medicine, lack of basic food, lack of electricity and fuel having consequences on many level of life. The refugee populations are part of the millions suffering from extreme poverty today, and even more than 3 months ago.
Lebanon’s recovery is not anymore something people expect. They are now fighting daily to keep a semblance of “normal” life. Awaiting hours to refill their car tank, awaiting electricity to come to perform basic household activities, praying family members living out of Lebanon to send them medicines, paying unaffordable amount to be able cooking basic vegetarian meals as meat is not anymore an option for the majority.
The Urban Rooftop Farming Project launched by Jafra is still on and growing monthly, thanks to the participation of donors. This will allow now to increase our rooftop number to 20 more. It makes a total of around 70 owners to have access to various crops and some to protein via the poultry raising. All participants of the project are receiving training then continuous follow-up from an agronomist to help with improving organically the cultivations and keep the plants sane.
The rooftop owners are beginning to share their harvest with their neighbors which also creates a sense of cooperation and mutual aid which strengthens the bonds in the community.
Your contributions are still very important. We need to keep increasing the number of rooftops farms and your help is also much appreciated to maintain the existing ones by sometimes providing water, soil, seeds, natural solution to fight diseases, pots and tools. We are working to provide the camp population their food autonomy, the only solution to mitigate undernutrition.
Project Reports on GlobalGiving are posted directly to globalgiving.org by Project Leaders as they are completed, generally every 3-4 months. To protect the integrity of these documents, GlobalGiving does not alter them; therefore you may find some language or formatting issues.
If you donate to this project or have donated to this project, you will get an e-mail when this project posts a report. You can also subscribe for reports via e-mail without donating.
We'll only email you new reports and updates about this project.
Support this important cause by creating a personalized fundraising page.Start a Fundraiser