• 2017-20: Greece, Lesvos

    Moria: Maintenance

The concept is very simple: A dripping tap? We swap it. A missing lock? We replace it. Faulty plumbing? We repair it.

From November 2017 to September 2020 we based our operations in Moria camp on Lesvos, during that time maintenance was always Watershed’s most prioritised activity. We have witnessed, time and time again, how the simplest repairs and interventions mean the difference between somebody being able to use a toilet or not.

When we first arrived at the camp, the population was around 7,000 people and the WASH facilities were severely overused, dirty and in a state of disrepair. After completing some thorough deep cleans and basic overhauls, we soon learnt that without daily maintenance our efforts were in vain. Ensuring small, simple and regular repairs rectifies any damage from overuse or misuse, but most importantly; it keeps cubicles in a usable manner and prevents damages from spiralling out of control due to vandalism fuelled by frustration.

The concept is very simple: A dripping tap? We swap it. A missing lock? We replace it. Faulty plumbing? We repair it. A blocked toilet? We pump it until it unblocks. An unacceptable cubicle? We improve it.

Fast forward to 2020 and our maintenance operations were running like a machine: Every morning two teams of two technicians visited all the communal facilities in the camp to check their functionality and conduct quick repairs. With a rota and a simple system to identify larger issues to return to, we were able to successfully keep the facilities functioning in Moria.

Over the course of the years, we built a strong rapport with the cleaning contractors and residents, who would inform us of any urgent issues that required a quick fix. On top of the daily maintenance responsibilities, we also kept a rolling rota for deep cleaning the communal shower block on a weekly basis; clearing the drains and gullies and using disinfectant and a pressure washer to ensure the environment was hygienic.

With the threat of the Covid-19 pandemic, we were starkly aware of the risk of not being able to access Moria camp due to restrictions. So, we also implemented a series of “preventative maintenance” measures, in order to make toilet facilities more robust and therefore less likely to break during the potential absence of our team.


Greece: Moria Reception and Identification Centre (RIC), Lesvos


November 2017 – September 2020


Population of Moria camp (developments from 7,000 people in 2017 to over 20,000 in spring 2020)


The daily monitoring and repairs in all communal facilities in and around Moria RIC.

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