Tent cities must meet cleanliness criteria: Expert

Tent cities must meet cleanliness criteria: Expert

Meltem Özgenç- ISTANBUL
Tent cities must meet cleanliness criteria: Expert

With Türkiye battling to support quake-stricken people in the south, concerns over public health and safety are rising, as experts warn tent cities must meet cleanliness criteria and should not be established haphazardly or else a potential health risk is on the horizon.

Setting up tents in every place is not possible, as settlements dealing with difficulty accessing clean water and food can lead to an outbreak of diseases, public health expert Sarp Üner warned, stating that the most vital issue in the earthquake zone is accommodation.

Reminding that a month has passed since the devastating earthquakes, Üner underlined that the biggest problem in the quake-hit provinces is the delay in establishing temporary shelters where the basic needs of quake survivors, such as clean water and food, can be met.

“Establishing a camp environment with its toilets and showers is vital as if you set up tents in every empty place, you may not provide clean water, toilet or food access. For this reason, tent cities must meet some criteria,” Üner explained.

Stating that according to the World Health Organization (WHO), tent cities should have an area of 30 square meters per person, Üner added that 3.5 square meters of this figure should be considered as a housing area.

“One toilet should be used by only 10 people and one shower must be for a maximum of 50 people,” he said.

There are citizens who state that they have not had a shower for the past 24 days, since the time earthquake rattled the southern provinces, the expert noted. “It is a public health problem in terms of skin diseases and hygiene.”

It is essential to provide clean water to the survivors in order to prevent typhoid, cholera, hepatitis 1, and food poisoning, Üner warned.

Tent cities should have a management system, and everyone should bear responsibility in collective life, Üner added.