Scarce access to drinking freshwater as a consequence of poor water management and infrastructure
Lebanon has abundant reserves of freshwater unlike its neighboring countries, but the different communities (host and refugees) living in the country suffer from water scarcity during summer due to the poor water management and infrastructure. In addition to this, according to the UN, 70% of the freshwater resources are polluted and since the trash crisis that is affecting the country since July 2015, pollution is even worse than before.
Saint Simon is a vulnerable neighbourhood in Beirut that used to be a peaceful and attractive beach resort on the seaside. It is located across the border between Jnah and Ouzaii, and was previously a popular beach in Beirut. Approximately 50 years ago, people started constructing semi-permanent structures on the sand. The houses have been built from a variety of materials, including wood, zinc, bricks, and cement, without any planning or structural consideration for the sand foundations. There are limited water and sanitation services available in this area, made evident through the mounds of garbage which have accumulated on the sand, pools of black water in the streets leading to the shore, and the lack of plumbing in some shelters with sewerage outfalls directly onto the sand. The health implications of these conditions are dire.
Celebrating World Water Day in Lebanon through water forums
ACTED Lebanon celebrated World Water Day by organizing water forums in Beirut with the Lebanese community as well as Syrian and Palestinian refugees. ACTED’s hygiene promotion team organized a water forum in St. Simon for 100 people, to teach children and adults on the importance of freshwater and how it should be preserved. Several trainings sessions were held on hand washing practices, water saving (effective and efficient utilization of water), solid waste management, safe and clean water use and storage and water related diseases like lice, scabies and diarrhea. In addition to the awareness sessions, drawing activities, painting, games and recycling activities were implemented with the 40 children that were present that day.
ACTED’s longstanding commitment to WASH issues in Lebanon
ACTED Lebanon has been conducting water, sanitation and hygiene activities in Lebanon since 2007, following the summer conflict in the Palestinian camp. Today, ACTED is operating in vulnerable communities in Beirut, Mount Lebanon, the North of Lebanon and soon, with the implementation of its new projects, in the South of the country.
These activities were made available by the generous contribution of the European Union.