Support to Host Communities in the WASH Sector

Support to Host Communities in the WASH Sector



The National Water Sector Strategy of the Ministry of Energy and Water (2011 and updated in ‎‎2020) calls for several initiatives related to the optimization of surface water resources, development of lakes in different regions, and the ‎implementation of additional hectares of irrigation schemes.‎

Since 2015, UNDP had intervened in more than 60 agriculture-related projects such as ‎the rehabilitation of irrigation water supply canals, the construction of irrigation ponds and hill lakes, with funding from the German Development Bank (KfW).‎

The project aims at creating short-term job opportunities for vulnerable Lebanese and Syrian ‎labourers during the implementation of the works themselves while also contributing to longer-‎term benefits such as improved food security, water resource management, and potential ‎employment opportunities through the expansion of agricultural lands and increasing ‎agricultural production. The short-term jobs will be created through the labour-intensive ‎infrastructure projects targeting the agricultural sector in Lebanon, the importance of which is ‎increasing due to the recent financial and economic crisis.‎


Lebanon is currently hosting the largest number of Syrian refugees per capita in the world ‎‎(nearly 1 million officially registered with UNHCR) which accounts for approximately 25% of the ‎total existing Lebanese population. The refugees are spread across the various regions of the ‎country and the massive influx of refugees has imposed tremendous pressure on the country's ‎physical and social infrastructure. The Syrian crisis ‎has placed a huge strain on the already depleted and mismanaged natural resources in Lebanon: ‎one of the most important of which is water. A resource that is and will also continue to be ‎negatively impacted by climate change.‎

Irrigation has been a main factor to enable intensification of cropping patterns through the ‎development of high value-added production (vegetables and fruits). Water scarcity, rather than ‎land resources, is currently limiting the expansion of agricultural production and irrigation is the largest water consumer in Lebanon (60% of total water consumption) ‎with low efficiencies which has a significant impact on the water footprint.‎

The KfW funded, “Support to Host Communities in the WASH sector” project works on the identification, the design, and the rehabilitation of irrigation canals along with support to farmers and municipalities on ‎agricultural practices.‎

Major achievements

  • Construction and rehabilitation of Irrigation Networks in more than 50 villages in the Governorates of Akkar, ‎North Lebanon, Mount Lebanon, Bekaa, Baalbek-Hermel and Nabatieh
  • Construction of Hill Lakes in 4 villages in the Governorates of Akkar, Bekaa, ‎Baalbek-Hermel and South Lebanon
  • Design and implementation of a capacity building program and training targeting the irrigation project areas
  • Organizing training sessions in North Lebanon on the importance of rainwater harvesting systems and water saving devices. 500 participants were selected to be trained in the installation and operation of the systems and later employed 
  • Installation of rainwater harvesting systems on farm-level in North Lebanon and distribution of ‎water saving ‎devices for the households

Project outcome

  • Environmental Management Strengthened
  • Increased supply of water and storage capacity to host communities 
  • Livelihood improvement through the rehabilitation/construction of irrigation canals and construction of Hill Lakes in vulnerable communities
  • Creation of short-term job opportunities for vulnerable Lebanese and Syrian labourers during the implementation of the works 
  • Contribution to longer-term benefits such as improved food security, health, water resource, expansion of agricultural lands and increase of crop yields
  • Promotion of sustainable water management

GESI Component: 

  • ‎Under the Rainwater Harvesting and installation of water saving fixtures component, 500 persons out ‎of which are ‎‎315 females, will be trained and offered short-term employment in addition to skills that ‎they will ‎acquire through training and on-the-job learning opportunities

  • ‎The construction of Irrigation Canals and Hill lakes component leads to improved ‎crop yields and expansion of agricultural lands, which benefits female workers, since the main ‎employees during the harvest season are women
  • ‎During the implementation of the capacity building program planned for 2022, gender equality will be ‎‎respected‎, the participation of women will be encouraged and prioritized. ‎