The Steering Committee held its 1st meeting online on 15 December 2020 for the Project “Effective Urban Waste Management for Host Communities Phase II: Strengthening Social Cohesion through Participatory Waste Management” with an overall objective of contributing to the social cohesion between Syrians and host communities, and strengthening the capacities of municipalities through participatory waste management.

The opening remarks were delivered by Ms. Seher Alacacı Arıner, UNDP Turkey Assistant Resident Representative, Mr. Stephen Este, USBPRM Senior Humanitarian Coordinator, and Ms. Sadiye Bilgiç Karabulut, Head of the Department of Zero Waste and Waste Treatment of the Ministry of Environment and Urbanisation at the meeting moderated by the UNDP Project Coordinator Mr. Ersin Dağdur.

The meeting addressed the action details, completed and ongoing activities, risks and challenges, gender equality aspect, activities of awareness, visibility and communications under the Project supporting Municipalities of Kilis and Haliliye (Şanlıurfa).

Ms. Alacacı Arıner noted in her opening remarks that the project was originally scheduled to end in November 2020, but extended through 30 June 2021, and Ms. Bilgiç Karabulut emphasised the Project’s support to the “Zero Waste” vision and the importance of training component.

The presentation on the Project explained the intended outputs: Engaging 10,000 households in the community-based zero waste management system, building two civic amenity centres, creating an incentive mechanism and implementation scheme, collecting 2,500 tonnes of waste a year, achieving savings by 20% per type of solid waste in the target provinces and districts, and supporting two women’s cooperatives.

The presentation further addressed the completed activities such as the delivery of waste collection vehicles to municipalities, mobile civic amenity centres, distributing containers to households, and the ongoing activities including creating the website to access the training provided online due to COVID-19, constructing the waste centres, supporting women’s cooperatives and developing the incentive mechanism.

For the gender equality aspect of the Project, reference was made to the importance that women and men had different roles in sorting waste, and women’s role in project activities must be considered.

In terms of the visibility and communications work, the spotlight was on the “Zero Waste Dive” in Halfeti by Ms. Şahika Ercümen, world record holder free-diver and UNDP Turkey’s “Life Below Water Advocate”, with coverage in the local, national and international news. The event in November aimed to highlight messages of social cohesion and solidarity, raise awareness on recycling and zero waste and bring together Kilis and Şanlıurfa in Halfeti.

The closing remarks referred to new activities to start from 22 December in the region, and the “Zero Waste” video featuring Ms. Ercümen’s Halfeti dive was watched, and the meeting concluded.

The Project “Effective Urban Waste Management for Host Communities Phase II: Strengthening Social Cohesion through Participatory Waste Management” is implemented jointly by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Ministry of Environment and Urbanisation with funding from the United States Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration (USBPRM).

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