A man carries empty water bottles in Beirut. Representative photo AFP
Several areas of Beirut, the southern suburbs of the capital and Metn have been experiencing prolonged water shortages for a month due to a power outage at the Dbaye pumping station and interruptions in the supply of water from the Mushref well.
The Beirut and Mount Lebanon Water Authority said on Tuesday that a power outage at the Dbaye pumping station had led to power shortages in the Achrafieh and Bourj Abi Haidar areas, as well as the Metna coast. In his press release, he also noted interruptions in the supply of Mushref’s wells, which affected water supply in the districts of Burj Brajne and Hay el Sellom.
“The agency is trying to fix the damage with its own limited resources after several donors informed it of their inability to provide more funds for repairs,” the statement said. He further emphasized that he “seeks to restore the water supply to the capital, its neighborhoods and surrounding areas as quickly as possible, either by establishing the necessary communications to provide additional power to the Dbaye station, or by continuing work to repair the accidents associated with the Muchref wells. The water board asked the authorities for help.
On August 23, he announced that he would introduce a “strict” water rationing system due to the “inability to buy diesel at foreign currency prices,” but did not specify how the rationing system would be structured and implemented.
Lebanon suffers from chronic power shortages, which have worsened since the economic crisis that has hit the country since 2019.
Situation in Ashrafiyeh
In this regard, residents of Achrafi complained East today and the National News Agency about water outages that lasted more than a month. These cuts force residents to purchase goods from private suppliers, despite difficult living conditions. Filling a water tank from a private supplier costs about $40.
This was reported by Dani Wakim, a resident of Achrafieh, who suffered from water shortages for more than a month. East today that he “has to buy water” from private companies “every three days” and that in the last month he has spent about $143 on water alone. A woman living near Rizq Hospital in Ashrafieh said she regularly suffered from water shortages, but two days ago water returned to her home.
It remains unclear why residents in different parts of Ashrafieh are experiencing variations in water supply.
Suppliers attribute these outages to a lack of electricity, financial resources, poor working conditions and theft of equipment.
Water inequality in Beirut
A 2018 study of Beirut’s built environment revealed serious imbalances in the capital’s water supply. Abir Zaatari, a researcher at the Beirut City Laboratory at the American University of Beirut, spoke about this. East today that some areas (Rmeil, Medawar, Saifi and Achrafieh) receive public water in abundance, while Ras Beirut, Bachura, Mutaitbe, Ain el Mreise and Mazraa generally suffer from water shortages.
According to Zaatari, the problem has more to do with topography and infrastructure than religious or political differences. “Beirut is a topographical city and the water distribution reservoirs are located on top of three hills: Achrafieh Hill, Tallet el-Hayat Hill and Burj Abi Haidar Hill,” and the city’s two water reservoirs supply centers are located at Achrafieh and Tallet el-Hayat. Achrafieh receives its water from the Dbaye treatment plant, which draws water from Jeita streams and other wells.
Source: L Orient Le Jour
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