SDG6: CLEAN WATER AND SANITATION
Lebanon has sufficient natural water resources but faces complex challenges due to uncontrolled consumption and increased pollution. The sudden increase in population due to the influx of approximately 1.5 million displaced Syrians has put further strain on the system. The Lebanese government is working on protecting and upgrading water resources, and on the completion, expansion and rehabilitation of the water and wastewater networks.
The government is doing work to protect and upgrade water resources, and to complete, expand and rehabilitate the water and wastewater networks. only 37 percent of the population have access to safe drinking water. This is part due to deficiencies in water supply and contamination across the transmission networks, but also because of pollution at the source and unsustainable water extraction practices and uses. Untreated municipal wastewater, and some industrial and agricultural waste, is often discharged into valleys, rivers and the sea.
In response to these challenges, Cabinet approved the National Water Sector Strategy in 2012. This aims to ‘ensure water supply, irrigation and sanitation services throughout Lebanon on a continuous basis and at optimal service levels, with a commitment to environmental, economic and social sustainability.’ It calls for increased coverage of wastewater collection networks and treatment capacities; resolved transmission and distribution problems; infrastructure for surface water storage and recharging groundwater. On the demand side, the strategy includes installing metering and volumetric charging. In April 2018, the Water Code was passed by the Lebanese Parliament. This legislation applies international agreements on water, promotes integrated water resource management and provides for delegated management to the private sector. The decrees and decisions pertaining to this law still need to be passed before it can be applied.
The Lebanese University had established at its campuses namely Hadath and Fanar campus laboratories and centers to study the quality of food and water and medicine in Lebanon, and also to study diseases, viruses and bacteria causing and illness, as well the Water, Food and Drug Quality Center in order to examine the quality of the commercial food products and water bottles sold and pharmaceutical products spread in the Lebanese market (doc 48) decision of its implementation.
On December 21, 2018, it received the National Center for the quality of medicine, food, water and chemicals in the Lebanese Certificate University "ISO 9001: 2015" Btnoah characteristic, according to the standards "ISO" World by the Committee on Foreign Audit, in the "ISO", which commended the arbitrator 's quality system accuracy in the laboratory analysis of bacterial To examine food and water samples and to detect microbiological contaminants, which ensures maximum quality assurance of the results of the tests and to ensure high performance of the center's services.
On January 24, 2019, issued the National Center for the quality of medicine, food, water and chemicals at the Lebanese University, the results of the analysis of samples taken from the water in a number of houses in Bakain East and West. The summary of the analyzes showed that bacterial contamination affects the surface and groundwater and distribution networks, and therefore the drinking water that reaches the homes of citizens in those areas is not suitable for drinking. According to the center, the results of the bacteriological analysis of drinking water and use showed that a well near the spring of Shamsin feeding the town of Bar Elias, in which the bacteria exceeded the maximum permissible drinking water due to its contamination with wastewater.
The Lebanese University established an agreement with Litany institution which is a public institution on 5 March 2019, (doc 49) pdf dedicated to examining the cleanliness of the Litany water and all the neighboring rivers.
Lebanon Crisis Response Plan 2017-2020 [EN/AR]
Six years into the Syrian conflict, Lebanon remains at the forefront of one of the worst humanitarian crises of our time and has shown exceptional commitment and solidarity to people displaced by the war in Syria. As of October 2016, the Government of Lebanon (GoL) estimates that the country hosts 1.5 million Syrians who have fled the conflict in Syria (including 1.017 million registered as refugees with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), along with 31,502 Palestine Refugees from Syria, 35,000 Lebanese returnees, and a pre-existing population of more than 277,985 Palestine Refugees in Lebanon. The vulnerabilities of each of these groups have different root causes, requiring the overall response strategy to include a multifaceted range of interventions, from emergency aid to development assistance. Nearly half of those affected by the crisis are children and adolescents: at least 1.4 million children under 18, including Lebanese, Syrians and Palestinians, are currently growing up at risk, deprived, and with acute needs for basic services and protection. Public services are overstretched, with demand exceeding the capacity of institutions and infrastructure to meet needs. The service sectors are also overburdened, with the public health sector accumulating debt as Syrian patients are unable to cover their part of the bill.
If you open the pages of any Lebanese newspaper it's hard to miss the abundance of stories about the influx of refugees from neighbouring Syria. The war that has devastated Syria for the last six years has led to a humanitarian crisis in the region – it has had huge ramifications for Lebanon and the issue affects every topic, from the country's economy to each city's provision of basic services, such as electricity, sanitation, waste collection and water.
Without doubt, the 1.5 million displaced Syrians now living in Lebanon have put the country's water supply under mounting pressure: UN-Habitat estimates that demand on water services has increased by almost 30 per cent since the crisis began. 3.7 million people – both Lebanese and Syrian – are in water need (p157).
The agreement aims to develop joint studies, conduct analyzes and laboratory tests required to treat pollution of the Litani River water and environment, in the laboratories of the Lebanese University, namely the Water, Food and Drug Laboratory. It also aims to exchange information, conduct joint research and involve specialists from the two teams in workshops and training on irrigation projects, hydroelectric power plants, and other related topics.
The National Center for the Quality of Medicine, Food, Water and Chemicals at the Lebanese University released the results of analyzing water samples taken from a number of households in the central and western Beqaa.
The analysis showed that bacterial contamination affected surface and ground water and the distribution networks, and therefore the drinking water that reached households in those areas is not suitable for drinking.
According to the Center, the results of the bacteriological analysis of drinking and usage water showed that a well near Chamsine Spring fed the town of Bar Elias, and that the bacteria therein exceeded the maximum permissible limit for drinking water due to its contamination with wastewater.
The analysis of samples of Ain ez Zarqa Spring in Sohmor, which fed some of the western Beqaa and Rachaiya towns, showed the presence of bacterial contamination attributed to the problem of distribution networks due to the exit of clean, potable water from the treatment plant and its contamination before reaching the subscribers.