Making impact on Samos


The population of Samos has risen dramatically over the last year. Many newcomers to the island have been forced to seek shelter in areas not fit for purpose, particularly in forested areas that are now sometimes referred to as “the jungle”. With insufficient infrastructure and amenities, the environment of the island in these areas has taken a significant hit and waste is one of the most visible signs of this.  To create a constructive, sustainable and safe space for everyone, we started a waste-disposal project. Martijn, our team leader on Samos island, gave us an update on its progress.

"What we’re trying to do is activate the residents of the most vulnerable areas, to make them aware of problems with waste disposal, particularly since there are snakes in the area. Our main goal is to have the community involved and responsible for cleaning their own surroundings. Each day we work our way through the forested areas where people are now living, dividing it into different small neighbourhoods."

"In each new neighbourhood we designate a few volunteer individuals with the responsibility of waste-disposal. We then supply them with cleaning tools and garbage bags."

"We get involved and help them too, so that we can show them that they're not doing it alone, that it's a community project." 

"Surprisingly, the response has been really positive and the people living in the area have been eager to get involved. They’re completely aware of the hazards but haven’t had the materials/resources to deal with it."

"Last week we were able to hire some big equipment, a digger and a big truck to deal with the thicker piles of rubbish that are more difficult to get rid of by hand."

"The program is still in process, we are reaching new areas each day, but also visiting already designated ones to help them out and to see that they are still getting involved. Later on we want to be able to buy garbage bins and organise bigger clean ups if necessary."

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