UNICEF has announced in a new report titled “The Difficulty of Access to Water” that Lebanon has averted a complete collapse of its water infrastructure, but water supply networks are a major issue, and the health of millions of people is at risk.
“The prospects for a solution will remain bleak, as the lack of electricity makes it impossible to pump enough water, and in some cases causes pumping to stop completely,” UNICEF said.
Last year, UNICEF warned the Lebanese government that the water system was almost collapsing. And this report examines the changes that happened over a year.
UNICEF Representative in Lebanon, Edward Beigbeder, said: “While a complete collapse of public water supply networks has averted so far, the crisis has not yet resolved.”
Due to the economic crisis, Covid-19 pandemic, and then Beirut Blast in 2020, the infrastructure in Lebanon was severely affected.
Amid the dollar crisis, public sector providers couldn’t afford to repair the infrastructure or even provide pure and safe water.
Also, the report stated that many Lebanese households use more bottled water than tap water since the tap water isn’t of good quality.
Not only in Lebanese homes, but the water crisis also vitally impacts health centers, schools, universities, and others as it threatens people’s lives, mainly children.
In addition, UNICEF highlighted the necessity of taking several measures to solve the problem and mentioned that the resolution starts by solving the electricity crisis first.
Also, it stated that the government should confirm that all people can afford water.
“Access to water is not only a basic need but a fundamental right. Having sufficient, affordable, and safe water saves lives and keeps children healthy,” said Beigbeder.
UNICEF has always contributed to providing Lebanon with a safe water system, working on repairing the infrastructure, and ensuring that people are drinking safe and clean water.
And the report concluded: “UNICEF requires US$75 million annually to maintain critical systems and water flows for more than four million people across the country and to protect access and operation of public water systems.”