People living in the villages of South Lebanon, especially ones close to the border like Kfarkela, Kfarchouba, and Meis Al Jabal are struggling to find any water.
The residents of these places have been suffering from a water shortage for the past few months. Although the South’s water dilemma has been around for decades, it got exponentially worse this year as the Ministry of Energy and Water resorted to extreme rationing of the electricity supply.
The water supply is directly related to the availability of electricity. Those small villages rely on big wells to achieve their water security. The wells are equipped with suction machines that empty them from water to be distributed to the people. They are electronically operated and need a sufficient power supply.
For months now, these towns have been getting only one hour of electricity per day. Since their residents cannot afford to buy fuel to power generators and produce an alternative power supply, they are only getting water for just one hour a day.
The961 got in contact with Kfarchouba’s mayor, Mohammad Al Kadiri, who explained to us just how severe the situation is.
“It feels like we have been suffering forever,” he said. “We used to get 8 hours of water every two days last year. Now we get 1 hour a day,” he added.
“We have one well in Kfarchouba that supplies the whole village. The machine that we use to get the water out has been broken for the past 20 days, and we cannot afford to fix it. People have not had water for 20 days. They only rely on water trucks.”
These “water trucks” can be seen all over the South. People call them to transport water to their homes. They come equipped with automatic suction pumps that allow them to transport big quantities.
However, the water deliveries are very expensive and have gotten more expensive as the price of fuel increased, making it even harder to acquire water, a basic need that has become a luxury in that region of Lebanon.
The villagers have taken their anger and frustration to the street and protested by blocking main roads, hoping that those running the country’s affairs would answer, to no avail.
It is a must to point out that Lebanon is known to be water-rich thanks to its numerous springs, rivers, and lakes, and even richer than both its neighboring countries and Jordan. However, its per capita renewable water resources are below the threshold of water poverty, according to various assessments.
Water supplies in the country face countless challenges, including but not limited to poor service quality, poor infrastructure, the politicization of decision-making, lack of water reform, dams poorly capturing rivers’ floodwater, lack of sustainability, institutional weaknesses, illegal connections of water supplies, and so on.
Adding to that, the ongoing neglect by the officials evident across various sectors in Lebanon, and which has resulted in the country drowning under multiple crises of its basic needs: water, electricity, fuel…