Lebanon’s water supply nears collapse, UN warns

By July 28, 2022

Lebanon (MNN) — A new report from the United Nations highlights Lebanon’s latest crisis. Water supply systems are about to collapse, the UN warns.

A company that provides water for roughly half of Lebanon recently announced the start of severe water rationing. System breakdowns and water shortages directly result from the country’s poor governance.

“Lebanon is considered one of the richest nations in the Middle East with water. But we don’t know how to preserve [it],” Heart for Lebanon cofounder Camille Melki says.

“Most of our water washes out to the sea.”

Some households rely on private companies to fill rooftop water tanks. A weekly fill-up costs more than a minimum-wage worker makes in a year. Many families rely on bottled water. “And, if you’re buying bottled water, you’re paying six times more” than in the past, Melki says.

“The cost of a 1000 liter [bottle of water] has gone [up] six times since 2019.”

Lebanon’s economy and public service sectors remain on life support with little hope of change. Decades of governmental corruption and negligence, paired with recent disasters, have pushed Lebanon to the edge of ruin.

“We’ve been on the brink of collapse for the last two and a half years; since October 2019,” Melki says.

“There hasn’t been one report showing any progress our government has made or any change [made] to build trust among international communities. In fact, things keep going worse to worse.”

A cup of cold water in Jesus’ name

Heart for Lebanon helps vulnerable communities quench their physical and spiritual thirst. More about that here. “We have worked at providing both; the Living Water that is Jesus Christ and the basic necessity of clean water,” Melki says.

Jesus showed us how to care for people – by spending time with them, acknowledging them, and hearing them.
(Photo, caption courtesy of Heart for Lebanon)

In “refugee tent settlements, [we teach people] how to use water purification. We have set up a huge water purification system at our center in the Bekaa Valley to use the water we dig out of the well,” he continues.

“We teach physical cleanliness, [as well as] spiritual and soul cleanliness.”

Consider giving to support Heart for Lebanon’s work. Each donation goes even farther right now because of Lebanon’s economic crisis. “You’re helping us provide that water we were talking about. But you’re also helping us build relationships of trust,” Melki says.

“It (trust-building) is important because every visit we make, we hear people say, ‘You are the only ones who come to listen to us, the only ones who are willing to spend time with us.’”



Header and story images courtesy of Heart for Lebanon.