Arsal flooded only with opportunity

January 20, 2021

The construction of the integrated water system means that when it rains, Arsal is flooded only with opportunities!

“With your support, my land is now suitable for agriculture,” said Ahmad Al Houjairi. “You have encouraged me to start planting fruit trees and earning extra income.”

To protect residents of Arsal from the hazards of recurrent floods, UNDP constructed a 4,770 m storm water drainage canal with the support of our partners at core, Norway, UK, Germany and USA. This two-sided intervention not only solved the longstanding problem of floods, but also created opportunities in the fields of agriculture and land reclamation and enhanced the economic activities in Arsal – today considered a pollution-free town!

“The canal helped around 20 landowners like me who suffered from the accumulation of water and weren’t able to make use of their lands entirely,” Ahmad added.

The new infrastructure also offers a solution to pollution in Arsal - the thick layers of rock and debris washed in by the floods into the neighborhoods has now disappeared. Additionally, shops, schools, and houses are more accessible and operational, safeguarding local socio-economic activity across all seasons.

“There were times when we couldn’t even reach our homes because of the floods.  Shops would close, and the smell of garbage was all around,” said Hassan Zaarour, Arsal Municipal Member.

Constructing a storm water drainage canal in the village has turned flood risks into a thing of the past and reduced the burden on both Lebanese and displaced Syrians who can now benefit from rainwater as a source of life and abundance.