UNDP equips Needs Map container cities with infrastructure for water and waste

July 28, 2023
Photo: Bora Akbay

Eco-friendly approaches promoted in temporary settlements for earthquake survivors

Hatay, 27 July 2023 – A new container city that opened today in Hatay, welcoming 1,500 displaced earthquake survivors, is designed as a model of environmental friendliness, with infrastructure for drinking water, wastewater and solid waste supplied by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). 

The container city, built in the shadow of the Hatay Expo complex near the devastated city of Antakya, is one of two such temporary settlements constructed by Needs Map, a leading Turkish non-governmental organization that has coordinated in-kind contributions from dozens of charities and private-sector actors. 

“The unimaginable pain inflicted by the earthquakes remains very real for the millions of people in Türkiye who lost family, friends, homes and livelihoods,” said Needs Map Co-founder and UNDP Goodwill Ambassador Mert Fırat. “With our UNDP partners we hope to ease at least a little of that pain by providing hundreds of families with dignified living conditions until they can move into more permanent homes.”

UNDP’s contribution to the Hatay facility includes a drinking-water supply based on reverse osmosis purification systems; a community-scale wastewater treatment plant; 10,000 reusable glass water bottles to avoid generating plastic waste; galvanized bins for solid waste; and 60 washers and 60 dryers for the settlement’s two laundries. In addition, with temperatures regularly topping 40 degrees in the earthquake-affected region, UNDP has equipped each of the settlement’s 280 containers with an air-conditioner.

UNDP is providing similar support to a second container city in Kahramanmaraş, due to open in August.

“UNDP is proud to have worked with Needs Map to provide the temporary accommodation that is so desperately needed after the disaster,” said UNDP Resident Representative Louisa Vinton. “Our aim has been to make the settlements as livable as possible while preventing further damage to the environment.” 

UNDP’s assistance to the two settlements is being funded through a US$500,225 allocation from the UN’s Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) for Hatay and Kahramanmaraş, and a US$417,000 contribution from the Government of Japan as the principal source of funds for Hatay.

Japan has been a close partner for UNDP’s work in southern Türkiye for the past decade, and quickly shifted funds to enable UNDP to contribute to the emergency response, supporting the worst-hit areas with equipment to handle rubble and waste clean-up, including lime, shovels, and personal protection gear. 

In addition to its work in temporary settlements, UNDP has been assisting government agencies, municipalities and local NGOs in the 11 Turkish provinces hardest hit by the earthquakes to restore the provision of social services for vulnerable groups, improve waste management, protect endangered cultural heritage, expand vocational training programs and distribute cash grants to small businesses to help restart commerce in devastated cities and communities across the region. 

For more information

Umut Dulun, Communications Associate for UNDP in Türkiye, umut.dulun@undp.org