SAWT BEIRUT INTERNATIONAL

| 17 June 2021, Thursday | النسخة العربية

Water establishments in Lebanon launch the campaign “Through cooperation we preserve water for future generations”

To protect Lebanon’s precious water supply for future generations, Lebanon’s Water Institutions have ‎partnered together to launch a new campaign, with the support of the European Union and UNICEF, ‎to promote the importance of water as a life-saving resource and strengthen cooperation with ‎communities across the country to protect water. The four main Water Institutions of Lebanon – ‎represented by the Beirut and Mount Lebanon Water Establishment, the North Lebanon Water ‎Establishment, the South Lebanon Water Establishment and the Bekaa Water Establishment.

The launch was announced at a press conference today at the Ministry of Information, under the ‎patronage and presence of the Minister of Energy and Water, Dr. Raymond Ghajar, the Minister of ‎Information, Dr. Manal Abdel Samad, representatives from UNICEF and the European Union, ‎Chairman of the Board / General Director of the Beirut and Mount Lebanon Water Establishment, Eng. ‎Jean Gibran, Chairman of the Board / General Director of the Bekaa Water Establishment, Eng. Rizk ‎Rizk, Chairman of the Board / General Director of the North Lebanon Water Establishment, Mr. Khaled ‎Obaid, and Chairman of the Board / General Director of the South Lebanon Water Establishment. Dr. ‎Wassim Daher, in addition to the work team and media professionals. ‎

During the event, the water institutions confirmed their commitment to continue providing ‎communities with water services while supporting the public to reduce the financial burden of securing ‎water access. The four water establishments also announced significant reductions on the new ‎subscription fee and financial facilities in paying the annual water bill, in support of the communities ‎given the current economic challenges and with the COVID-19.. This is a reflection of the strong beliefs ‎of water institutions in the importance of sharing a common vision and building a transparent ‎relationship with the primary goal of preserving water and continuing to secure this valuable resource.‎

The water establishments praised the efforts of their workers, especially in light of the Coronavirus ‎‎(COVID-19) pandemic, through which they were able to provide the best possible service under ‎unprecedented operating conditions. Focusing on the importance of partnerships and strengthening ‎the shared responsibility that brings together their establishments and their subscribers with the aim ‎of preserving water wealth in Lebanon for all.

The campaign will run for one month to inform the public about the available services, calling them to ‎get in touch with the institutions in their regions via their respective hotlines where they can get more ‎details on the discounts on new subscriptions and the payment facilities offered. In addition, details ‎around the discounts and packages are shared through printed materials as well as the social media ‎pages of each establishment. ‎

Cooperation is the first step that guarantees the success of this partnership and its transmission ‎between generations, and the main pillar capable of expanding capabilities and achieving common ‎goals. ‎

HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE LAUNCH EVENT:‎

Dr. Raymond Ghajar, Minister of Energy and Water:‎

The Minister of Energy and Water, Dr. Raymond Ghajar, praised the efforts made by managers and ‎employees of the establishments to provide the best services to the public across Lebanon, despite ‎the challenges they face in their daily work, whether due to the COVID-19 pandemic or due to the ‎deteriorating economic conditions. The impact of these conditions on the establishments are reflected ‎in the cost of maintenance work, project implementation and money collection. Many people are not ‎aware that water establishments are public institutions that are financially and administratively ‎independent, and that they depend entirely on taxation in operating their facilities and networks and ‎paying the salaries of their employees. This highlights the importance of the partnership between ‎them and the public to ensure the continuity of their work and thus provide water for future ‎generations. He added that through this campaign, water establishments seek to confirm their ‎commitment to providing public water service in accordance with the best national standards, to ‎standing by the citizens permanently, and to support them in various circumstances to reduce the ‎burden on their shoulders, through several decisions issued. The most prominent of which are: ‎Significant reductions in the subscription fee and using financial facilities to pay the annual water bill ‎which reflects goodwill, solidarity and standing by citizens in these difficult economic times and ‎constitutes the beginning of building a solid and sustainable partnership.‎

Dr. Manal Abdel Samad, Minister of Information:‎

The Minister of Information, Dr. Manal Abdel Samad, highlighted that

Mr. Michele Pierpaoli, Program Manager Water and Wastewater at EU Delegation of Lebanon:‎

Mr. Michele Pierpaoli, Program Manager Water and Wastewater at EU Delegation of Lebanon said, the ‎EU has been traditionally been involved in the water sector to assure that Water Establishments’ are ‎strengthened. This puts them in better position to respond to the needs of the citizens in terms of ‎service and accountability. The support has further increased during the last year to assure that ‎continuity of public service is guaranteed as much as possible during these difficult times for Lebanon. ‎To guarantee sustainability, the trust between the citizen and the public service providers should be ‎reinforced. We consider this campaign as an important step in the right direction.‎

Mr. Olivier Thonet, Chief of WASH, UNICEF:‎

Mr. Olivier Thonet, Chief of the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Program at UNICEF Lebanon said that ‎while the impact of water scarcity can be felt by all, no one suffers more than the most vulnerable ‎children. Throughout the years, UNICEF supported Lebanon’s water sector to ensure equitable access ‎to safe water to all, especially to children and families living in vulnerable communities. Today, in ‎partnership with the European Union, UNICEF is reaffirming its commitment to support the Water ‎Establishments to ensure the delivery of water and wastewater services where it is needed most, ‎especially in these times of Covid-19.‎

Dr. Wassim Daher, Chairman of the Board of Directors / Director General of the South Lebanon Water ‎Establishment:‎

On the occasion of the campaign launch, Dr. Wassim Daher, Chairman of the Board of Directors / ‎Director General of the South Lebanon Water Establishment, stressed the importance on the ‎importance of the message of partnership that the campaign communicates and the establishment’s ‎continuous efforts to secure all possible facilities for the public and to ensure the continuity of water ‎services despite all the surrounding and stressful circumstances. He also praised the efforts made by ‎engineers, employees and workers that led to the continuity of water provision, despite the harsh ‎economic and health conditions, and contributed to the completion of the package of facilities, cuts ‎and administrative procedures necessary during a record period to ensure the public’s immediate ‎benefit from the offerings.‎

Chairman of the Board of Directors / Director General of the Bekaa Water Establishment – Engineer ‎Rizk Gerges Rizk:‎

In turn, the Chairman of the Board of Directors / Director General of the Bekaa Water Establishment – ‎Engineer Rizk Gerges Rizk praised the remarkable efforts of the employees of the Bekaa Water ‎Establishment and the other water establishments during the exceptional circumstances that the ‎country is going through, stressing the insistence of the institutions’ work teams to complete their ‎tasks despite the outbreak of the Coronavirus (COVID-19), and despite the decline of the current ‎standard of living with the lack of electricity and fuel to maintain the public service establishmentand ‎secure water services for subscribers.‎

Chairman of the Board of Directors / General Manager of the North Lebanon Water Establishment, Mr. ‎Khaled Barakat Obaid:‎

For his part, the Chairman of the Board of Directors / General Manager of the North Lebanon Water ‎Establishment, Mr. Khaled Barakat Obaid, stressed the importance of this campaign as it highlights the ‎importance of partnership and the crystallization of the shared future vision. Water is a heritage and a ‎legacy, preserved by the efforts of the workers, employees and engineers of the institution, who ‎have persevered in devoting all their energies to serving the citizens in these difficult living conditions ‎and the spread of the Coronavirus (Covid 19). The relentless cooperation and partnership between ‎the public and the institution is the real force for moving the wheel of water, for water is life.‎

Chairman and General Director of the Beirut and Mount Lebanon Water Establishment, Eng. Jean ‎Gibran: The Chairman and General Director of the Beirut and Mount Lebanon Water Establishment, ‎Eng. Jean Gibran, highlighted the importance of their cooperation in achieving their common goals, ‎through this solidarity a lot can be accomplished, including the preservation of water resources in the ‎long run. The establishment will always remain by the public’s side, especially during the difficult ‎economic conditions and the Covid-19 pandemic. He also praised the great efforts of the ‎establishment’s employees despite these difficult circumstances.‎