Flowing Water for a Better Life

May 30, 2019

Flowing Water for a Better Life

Thuraya’s home is located at the end of a long alley in Mazboud. Nothing but half a wall separates it from modest houses surrounded by children who fled the war in their country. Left with no other outlet, they invent games using wood or stone.

Inside Thuraya’s home are the children who visit her every weekend, along with their elementary teacher who helps them make up for any missed lessons. Their eyes follow us from the old windows while the teacher tells us about the situation in her village with the reserve of a person not used to being asked questions.

“We had a lot of water-related problems in the neighbourhood. Some people suffered, others didn’t,” Thuraya tells us briefly, remembering to be cautious of the sensitive subject that previously caused quarrels between the people of the village.

Mazboud, considered one of the most densely populated villages in the region of Eqleem El Kharroub, is inhabited by more than 4,300 people according to the municipality. Since the beginning of the Syrian crisis, the town opened its houses to thousands of refugees, which raised the number of people benefitting from basic services by almost 30%.

To alleviate the pressure on basic services provided by the municipality, UNDP responded to the needs identified as a priority by the people of Mazboud. A new water well and a water treatment room were built - and connected to the main tank for 1,300 metres - with support from Germany through KfW and within the framework of the Lebanon Host Communities Support Programme in partnership with the Ministry of Social Affairs.

The well feeds 850 homes in the northern part of the village, which suffered from the greatest shortage of water. Previously, residents had to wait four hours a week for the water supply to store as much water as possible and quench their needs. Today, the new well provides water for 10 hours per day.

“Thank God!” said Thuraya, “we don’t need to buy water anymore now.”

As a working mother, Thuraya’s life has become a lot easier following this project. She can invest more time at work or with her family instead of waiting for the water supply, and save the money she used to spend on purchasing water.

In the water sector, UNDP has implemented 89 projects to provide water for vulnerable communities since 2014, benefitting about 446,370 people across Lebanon.