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Tags: Green Gown Awards 2020 | Research with Impact – Institution | The University of Sheffield
There are currently 80,000 people living in Zaatari, the world’s largest Syrian refugee camp and now Jordan’s fourth largest city.
Scientists at the University of Sheffield are world-leading experts in hydroponics. On discovering a pile of old mattresses in Zaatari, Sheffield scientists set out to see if this material could mimic the high-tech foams they were using in the lab as a synthetic soil to grow food. Soon after, the innovative Desert Garden project began, with both humanitarian and sustainable aims at its core: use waste materials to grow fresh food in the desert for people displaced by war.
The project is being managed by Dr Moaed Al Meselmani, a Syrian refugee, and a soil scientist at the University of Sheffield. To date, over 650 of Zaatari's refugees have been trained in hydroponics. Within three years, a 'train the trainer' model will mean the camp's desert garden will be self-sustaining.
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