Lebanese to Deal with Further Electricity, Water Shortages during Summerإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
The lingering electricity crisis is likely to worsen with no solution in the near future as the country is bracing for a summer drought exacerbated by massive influx of Syrian refugees.
According to As Safir newspaper published on Thursday, rationing in Beirut's southern suburbs is daily between 10 and 12 hours while in the South and the Bekaa is between 12 and 14 and reaches around 20 hours in some areas in the North.
A parliamentary source told the daily that politicians should be clear and direct with the Lebanese concerning the electricity crisis.
“There is no near future solution.”
The sources said that electricity will not be back 24/7 in 2015 as some expected, advising citizens to buy their own generators or subscribe with the one in their neighborhood.
Lebanon is in need of 2,500 megawatts of electricity while the current production is only 1,500 MW.
The daily reported that any unexpected malfunction in one of the power plants in Lebanon will increase the size of the problem.
The report added that the state spends yearly around two billion dollars on electricity while the rationing hours keep on increasing.
The newspaper reported that drought reached several areas and villages as the dramatic situation is exacerbated by waste and an influx of Syrian refugees.
The U.N. refugee agency UNHCR warned in February that the presence of more than a million Syrian refugees alongside four million Lebanese would seriously deplete the country's renewable water resources.
People in Beirut and several areas have already been forced to buy water from private suppliers and farmers are complaining about crop losses.
MP Mohammed Qabbani expected in comments published in As Safir the “situation to worsen in August and to hit bottom rock in September and October.”
He noted that the Public Works and Energy Parliamentary Committee, which he heads, formed in April a crisis group to deal with the summer shortages, but nothing has been accomplished.
“Swift measures should be taken to deal with the situation,” Qabbani said, calling for “courageous and painful decisions.”
Lebanon's meteorological service says the country has had just 431 mm (17 inches) of precipitation since September, less than half last year's 905.8 mm and far below the yearly average of 812 mm.
Ordinarily, Lebanese farmers irrigate their fields by digging channels that divert water from local rivers or wells that fill with rainwater.
But the rain and snow that usually feed the rivers and wells never arrived.
The country has just two dams and some 70 percent of the water that flows through its 16 rivers ends up in the Mediterranean.