Normal Life Prevailing in Eastern Ghouta a Year after Liberation from Terrorism

DAMASCUS COUNTRYSIDE, (ST) –On April 14th, 2018, the Eastern Ghouta in Damascus Countryside was declared free of terrorism following a heroic military operation by the Syrian Arab army. The liberation of eastern Ghouta has been a major achievement in Syria’s war against takfiri terrorism that hit the entire country leading to the martyrdom of thousands of Syrians and causing huge destruction in different areas.

After libration of Eastern Ghouta, great efforts have been exerted by the Syrian government  to restore normal life there, ensure safe return to citizens to their areas, provide the citizens with all necessary services including in the sectors of education, health, agriculture, transport and infrastructure.

Education situation in Eastern Ghouta improving

 A year after liberation, the education situation in Eastern Ghouta witnessed notable improvement particularly in terms of rehabilitating a large number of schools.

 Immediately after liberation, the Education Ministry in cooperation with Damascus Countryside Governorate, the locals in eastern Ghouta, the international organizations and civil society sides, worked together to rehabilitate the educational buildings in order to ensure speedy return for students to their schools.

In a statement to SANA, Head of Damascus Countryside Education Directorate Maher Faraj said “55 schools have been rehabilitated within the investment plan, and 76 others are within the emergency plan, in addition to rehabilitating 80 schools in cooperation with the international organizations”.

Faraj added that heavy damage was inflicted upon the educational sector estimated up to SY 32 billion, indicating that all possible efforts have been exerted to provide the required psychological and social support for the students after returning to their schools, according to SANA.

The number of students who have joined the educational sector in the areas of the Eastern Ghouta has reached up to 125 thousands out of 500 thousand students distributed among 140 schools which have been put into service again.

Throughout the terrorist war waged against Syria, 219 schools in the Eastern Ghouta went out of service, of which 211 have been rehabilitated and put into service after liberation from terrorism, according to Faraj.

He added that more than 35 thousand students have followed the curriculum category (B) to compensate them for the missed lessons during the past years and to integrate them into their age groups and the classrooms which fit their ages.

Ministry of Education works on providing schoolbooks for students through opening centers for distributing them in the Eastern Ghouta as well as in Yelda and Babila towns, and there is a plan for increasing the number of these centers to reach other areas and to provide developed curriculum and distribute books among students.

Great efforts exerted to recover health sector

Likewise, workers in the health sector were the first to reach eastern Ghouta towns to deal with emergency cases and meet the needs of the patients.

According to Damascus Countryside Health Director Yaseen Na'nous, after Ghouta liberation, the directorate adopted all necessary measures to provide health care for the locals through re-operating the damaged health centers and supplying them with medical staff and equipments.

He said that 14 health centers in different Eastern Ghouta areas have been rehabilitated  over the past year, adding that 14 more centers in addition to three hospitals in Mleiha, Harasta and Kafar Batna are under rehabilitation and they will be put into service before the end of 2019. He pointed out that Harasta hospital will be rehabilitated in coordination with the UN Development Program and it needs an estimated cost of SY 552 million without equipments.

Na'nous made it clear that various health services that included medical, psychological and social support, have been provided to 83 thousand people in Eastern Ghouta.

Service situation improving

In addition, the service situation in Eastern Ghouta towns has also been improved after the Syrian army had rid them of terrorism. Shops, markets, resturants, workshps, and many service facilities returned to work.

The Damascus Countryside governorate in coordination with head of municipal councils is following up the rehabilitation of facilities and the implementation of all services including electricity, transport, markets, drinking water, sewerage and communications.

The locals in eastern Ghouta towns expressed their hope that the situation will be further improved to ensure descent life for all the citizens.

Hamda Mustafa