Kafr Tanour is a village that lies in the northern Idlib countryside. Like many localities in the wider northwest region, the village suffers from a very poor humanitarian and services situation. From the civilian side, the village is administered by a local council that is affiliated with the Salvation Government. On 19 January 2020, I conducted an interview with the head of the Kafr Tanour local council. It is slightly edited and condensed for clarity. Any parenthetical insertions in square brackets are my own.
Q: Can you tell me a little about Kafr Tanour in general?
A: The village of Kafr Tanour is affiliated with Ma'arat Misreen, lying 12 km west of Ma'arat Misreen. The number of original inhabitants: 2000. The number of IDPs: 700. The number of original families: 150. We have two camps within the village of Kafr Tanour: one camp of 40 families and another camp of 15 families. There is no sewage system in the village, a state that has resulted in sewage water on the streets. And so there have been illnesses of measles and leishmaniasis because of the water in the streets.
As for the municipal office [for removal of garbage], there is none. The garbage is in the streets within the roads.
As for the medical aspect, there is no medical point. The nearest medical point is Ma'arat Misreen 13 km away.
As for the school, it has been closed from 19 January 2019 and I as head of the local council had a letter written to the free education department they promised us good if God wills.
We have a neighbourhood of 17 homes in the village: it is difficult for drinking water to reach them because of the difficulty of the road upon them. We must serve them by asphalting the road upon them: the distance for the road to reach them is 300 m. We ask the aid organisations to consider the situation of our village with services projects of sewage, a municipal office for garbage to collect the garbage, and to get running the school, which brings together 250 students of original inhabitants and displaced people.
Note: we as a local council for the village are volunteers without any salary. I as head of the local council: the expenditure has been from me personally and no side has provided us with any sum for 8 years until now.
Q: Is all the electricity from private generators?
A: There are no generators. There are people who have solar panels and there are people who don't have.
Q: The village is suffering from the rise of the price of the dollar?
A: Of course it is suffering from the rise of the prices.
Q: And how is the rise of the price of the dollar impacting the work of the council for example?
A: The council no: but we as a council in a village are without income: volunteers without a salary. I as head of the council have been working in the council for 8 years without a salary. We as a council have been suffering from personal expenditure on our part.
Q: How many members are in the council? And what are its main offices?
A: I as head of a council in a small village. I have been working in the field of the council entirely in terms of an office of services, finance and relief. We have no office for a council: we have been working in the council in my private home.
Q: Are there any aid organisations helping you in your efforts currently?
A: Yes brother there are aid organisations working in the field of emergencies for IDPs.
Q: Which aid organisations exactly?
A: I can't give you names, but we have a difficult state of affairs from people of the village who have no benefited from any aid organisation until now. There are some 70 families from the people of the village who have not benefited.