The European Union and UNICEF extend their support to Water Establishments during Cholera outbreak
Since the Cholera outbreak was declared, on 6th October, taking concrete measures was a must to prevent the spread of the disease in Lebanon. UNICEF, through the support of the European Union, responded to this threat
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Lebanon’s economic crisis that hit the country in 2019 continues to affect its multiple sectors. The water sector, being strongly afflicted, requires today greater attention as families around the country are either being subject to cuts in their water supplies, or at risk of transmission of diseases due to being in contact with contaminated water and poor sanitation.
Following the announcement of the Cholera outbreak in Lebanon, UNICEF, through funding from the European Union, scaled up its response to support the Water Establishments to timely address water issues and maintain water supplies as far as possible. UNICEF, in coordination with Water Establishments in the country, has prioritized the identification and repair of malfunctioning chlorination systems and has accelerated the provision of chlorine to water stations.
“The European Union and UNICEF support and collaboration were crucial to ensure water to the city of Tripoli during these challenging times and while Cholera is spreading throughout the country”
“The North Lebanon Water Establishment provides the city of Tripoli with more than 90,000 cubic meters of clean, safe and potable water daily” says Kamal Maouloud, Head of the water production department in Tripoli. “The water treatment process passes through several phases starting from coagulation, flocculation, sedimentation, to the filtering, disinfection, and then to the distribution. The European Union and UNICEF support and collaboration were crucial to ensure water to the city of Tripoli during these challenging times and while Cholera is spreading throughout the country”, he adds.
UNICEF with the funding support of the European Union was able to repair the borehole pump and chlorination systems in the Al Ouyoun pumping station feeding main areas affected by the cholera outbreak in Akkar including the Halba Governmental Hospital, which currently includes a Cholera Treatment Center (CTC). Thanks to the contribution of the European Union, UNICEF is working effortlessly to contain the Cholera outbreak to reduce mortality and morbidity. Cholera is a waterborne disease and it's only with clean water, reliable water and sanitation facilities and good hygiene that we can fight it. Therefore, UNICEF is delivering lifesaving services across hotspot areas by strengthening the existing water and wastewater systems to prevent the rapid spread of Cholera, as well as supporting affected communities to improve their hygiene practices.
In less than three years, the Lebanese currency has lost 90 per cent of its value. The possibility of repairing any malfunction in water pumping stations or purchasing any materials needed for water treatment became intractable. Through the funding of the European Union, and since October 2022, UNICEF has covered the repair and maintenance of 80 water pumping stations, 39 chlorination systems and supplied more than 28 tons of chlorine for water treatment in the country.
The public water networks in Lebanon are at risk of collapsing if no significant action was made. The country’s economic, electricity and fuel crises, in addition to a lack of funding are a threat to more than four million people being deprived from their right to access to sustainable clean water. The efforts of UNICEF, through the support of the European Union, made the four regional water establishments, heavily affected by the Lebanese financial crisis, able to continue operating and maintaining infrastructure to benefit thousands of families.
Empowering water establishments to effectively address water issues during such a difficult period is crucial for the Lebanese population and Syrian refugee communities. Through the European Union’s funding, UNICEF continues to provide support to the water sector as the lead agency for water and sanitation in the international humanitarian relief effort in Lebanon.