Improving water access of the population in Ghazir

Report
from ACTED
Published on 04 Feb 2016 View Original

Syrian conflict, which has seen over 9 million people flee their homes, has affected thousands more in the neighboring countries. Though much has been accomplished to provide the host communities and the Syrian communities in need with necessary aid, there is still much that remains to be done.

A reservoir to improve water access security

The Syrian conflict, which has seen over 9 million people flee their homes, has affected thousands more in the neighboring countries. Though much has been accomplished to provide the host communities and the Syrian communities in need with necessary aid, there is still much that remains to be done. A reservoir to improve water access security

Operating in Mount Lebanon and Akkar, ACTED has undertaken water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) activities to increase access to safe drinking water and hygienic living conditions for Syrian and Lebanese crisis affected populations. Even though Lebanon is in a fortunate hydrological position, there is still the risk of water scarcity in many areas due to high rates of losses of water to the sea due to the topography, over–extraction of groundwater resources, damaged and leaking pipes (impacting both the quality and quantity of water supply) and a mere 6% storage of potential water reserves in Lebanon. With funding from the German Government and support from UNICEF, ACTED has built a 1,000m ³ capacity reservoir in the region of Ghazir, Keserwane district, to supply the populations in the surrounding villages with water. The region of Ghazir is known for its numerous groundwater reserves; the roots of the word “Ghazir” in Arabic means “heavy rains”. Ghazir has abundant reserves of water, but no reservoirs have been built in the region to store it. Due to the absence of a major reservoir, a huge part of the rainwater is lost and the populations living in Ghazir have limited access to water for cooking, washing and cleaning.

The Qattine-Ghazir reservoir has been constructed in response to these water scarcity risks, and as part of a wider water supply system upgrade of both reservoirs and networks in the Keserwane district. The system is managed and operated by the Establishment of the water of Beirut and Mount Lebanon (EEBML) and will provide water security to almost 8,000 individuals living at Keserwane District. On the 15th of January, after approximately four months of construction, the project was completed and inaugurated by the local mayors and donors. ACTED teams have also been conducting household level sessions with the local Lebanese and Syrian families to raise awareness onf the importance of water conservation. During these sessions, ACTED has been distributing water efficient showerheads, which decrease the water used during a shower from 30 to 9 liters per minute. The response to this initiative was very positive: in a region where water resources have been low, the families were very pleased to have a measure to reduce their consumption and increased water security as a result of the reservoir.