Munah’s access to heating and fuel for the winter months in Amman is touch and go at best
People think of heat and sunshine when they think of Jordan. But the temperature in the desert drops quickly come fall. By winter, the ice in the streets in Amman becomes a hazard for the already tumultuous traffic that winds around the hills of the city. The tanks of fresh water on the tops of buildings can freeze. Pipes leak, and occasionally burst. By and large, Jordan is not set up for cooler climates. Just two years ago, the level of snowfall caused the Jordanian government to announce a state of emergency. Infrastructural issues caused ministry offices to close down, triggered power disruptions, blocked roads for approximately five days.
For these reasons, kerosene is a vital and often unavailable resource for those in Jordan who struggle from month to month financially. For Munah, her husband, and her two children, all of whom escaped from Daesh (also known as the so-called Islamic-State) in Iraq a little over two years ago, the issue of heating in winter is now based entirely on the generosity of others. “In the winter, we have the geyser water heater that we share with our neighbors. With all of us, it’s difficult to save our water for when the cold weather comes,” she says. Because of the expense of hot water and fuel, her family only has one heater for the house “In 2015, I received a fuel voucher for every month of winter,” she says. Last year, donations dropped, “because of lack of support we were only able to get a voucher for one month.”
One of the most important donations Collateral Repair Project offers is the annual heaters and kerosene for the winter. For many beneficiaries at CRP, the insulation in their apartments isn’t sufficient to keep them warm.
“In Amman overall, there isn’t proper architectural infrastructure to support the cold temperatures. So, for families in Hashemi Shamali, it’s common for houses to have little to no insolation, which can make the temperature inside the house even lower than it is outside. Many families don’t have heaters or hot water heaters. So, there’s really no such thing as a warm place.” explains Lilly Crown, the Programs and Administrative Manager at Collateral Repair Project.
When it is too cold at night, refugee children stay awake shivering. This leads to increased health risks, mental fatigue, and difficulty concentrating at school. Refugee children already struggle in school after missing years of their education and risk falling further behind.
The need for kerosene for those in economically precarious states is becoming an increasingly urgent issue in Amman and Jordan as a whole. Recently, the Jordanian government issued 3-8% tax increase on gasoline, diesel, and kerosene. Electricity supplies to certain areas of Jordan are frequently cut during the winter. Many of the cuts are in poorer areas. “Electricity rates are very high so using electric heaters can exponentially increase someone’s bills, and that’s if someone can even afford to purchase the heater. Some families have heaters powered by gasoline, and we also give those out, but the gas for them is quite pricey. There are also families that will have a harder time walking where they need to go,” says Lilly.
Just last year, Collateral Repair Project was able to supply kerosene for 246 families. This year, we’re hoping to provide even more than that. Your $45 monthly donation to provide a kerosene heater and one fuel voucher for a Syrian or Iraqi family each month this winter. Your monthly donation of $15 can cover the cost of a kerosene voucher each month. The temperature is already dropping noticeably every week, and we are scrambling to cover winter needs for our beneficiaries before winter sets in. Monthly donations allow us to plan ahead and make sure we keep up our fuel-voucher distribution through the spring. To donate and provide an essential resource for these families, click here.