Impact program Türkiye
In the wake of the devastating earthquake that struck in February 2023, swift action was taken. The aftermath prompted two pivotal NLWorks missions to the profoundly affected Hatay province.
Within Hatay, the city of Antakiya (formerly home to 700,000 residents) and Samandag (with a previous population of 130,000) faced the daunting task of near-complete reconstruction.
Need for action
From February 2023 onwards, NLWorks has had an instrumental role in developing, driving and coordinating the overall ambition, partnership, and initial roadmap for Dutch–Turkish collaboration in the Earthquake reconstruction. This resulted in 2 NLWorks visits to the heavily impacted Hatay province. During the first visit, which was a fac-finding mission, we observed that the technological effort thus far were focused on building back houses with the existing technologies in a cost and time efficient way.
Furthermore, we observed huge differences in the way the earthquake and aftershocks impacted areas physically and socially. Gaziantep was able to continue relatively normal. It withstood the earthquake impressively. Hatay in the other hand is a region with unimaginable devastation. 96,000 Buildings are either collapsed or heavily damaged.
Social and economic opportunities
While there are some societal and economic challenges such as sewage and freshwater systems which have been damaged significantly, and hospitals and local community centers are essential in the immediate aftermath.
We also know that 90% of the businesses and employment is by SME’s. The earthquake has severely damaged factories, workshops, shops and economic infrastructure, resulting in a severe economic downfall and leaving many people without work or opportunity.
These challenges gives Dutch and Turkish entrepreneurs and businesses a great opportunity in helping rebuild that area that is yet to be cleared and is contaminated (asbestos, chemicals, household effects) and as a result, causes environmental and health risks.
A coordinated, collaborative approach is crucial for this program to succeed. The affected Turkish municipalities lack the capability and capacity. The proposed solution involves both public and private goods and services.