Tallet el-Khayat water station reopens with EU and UNICEF support
On the occasion of World Water Day, the Beirut and Mount Lebanon Water Establishment (EBML) in partnership with UNICEF and the European Union inaugurated the newly rehabilitated Tallet el-Khayat station, one of the oldest water pumping stations in Beirut.
The project has been developed to provide improved and sustainable water services to more than half a million people in Beirut through a system relying on gravity and pumping.
Amid the continuous crisis affecting the water infrastructure, access to water is still one of the biggest challenges, putting the health of millions of people, particularly children, at risk.
Through its long-standing partnership with UNICEF, the European Union has been one of the “strongest supporters of Lebanon’s water sector amid the continuous crisis,” a joint statement said.
“Since November 2018 it has so far contributed EUR130 million to develop and implement water projects and strengthen national capacity of the water establishments to ensure public access to water resources now and for the future,” the statement added.
“Today, on World Water Day we invite every actor to consider public water and wastewater services as an urgent national priority,” said European Union Ambassador to Lebanon Ralph Tarraf.
“Exiting the crisis in the sector and achieving a sustainable solution while providing citizens with reliable water services should be a collective responsibility, with the Government, the water establishments, and citizens each having roles and responsibilities,” Tarraf added.
“We are proud of our long-standing partnership with the EU to improve access to water in Lebanon especially during these challenging times where millions of people are still affected by the limited availability of clean water,” said Edouard Beigbeder, UNICEF Representative in Lebanon.
“We should not forget, especially on World Water Day, that access to water is a fundamental right. Our priority remains strengthening the water establishments capacity to ensure equitable and sustainable provision of water to reduce the spread of infections and save lives,” Beigbeder added.
Beirut & Mount Lebanon Water Establishment director general, Jean Gibran, said: “The EBML commends international organizations’ efforts to rescue the water sector and ensure its continuity, especially UNICEF and the European Union, who supported, since the beginning of the Lebanese economic crisis, in repairing and maintaining the functioning of all pumping stations in addition to rehabilitating some of the most damaged, which ensured the sustainability of access to water to all citizens.”
“Water is life, it is the life of every human being. Your support today has contributed to the revival of this sector, without it, we wouldn’t have been celebrating world water day today,” he concluded.
“Sustainable management of water resources requires strong cooperation between all stakeholders beyond the water sector. Investing in safe, sustainable and inclusive access to water is not only a matter of protecting children's health today, but also ensuring a sustainable future for generations to come,” the joint statement said.