The World Bank recently approved a $43.53 million loan to the Government of Lebanon to upgrade water supply and wastewater collection and treatment in the ancient Roman city of Ba’albeck and its vicinity, 85 kilometers northeast of Beirut.
The loan is issued by the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), an arm of the World Bank which provides loans and technical assistance to middle income countries. It is provided on a fixed-spread basis with 13 years maturity and a seven-year grace period.
The Ba’albeck Water and Wastewater Project (BWWP) aims to expand the coverage of water supply and wastewater collection in nearby communities, by strengthening the efficiency of local water authorities and involving the private sector in the operation and maintenance of water and wastewater facilities.
The BWWP falls in line with the Bank’s country assistance strategy for Lebanon, which supports the government’s objective of promoting sustainable development in the water supply and wastewater sector through investments in infrastructure, environment and human resources.
The water supply and wastewater sector in Lebanon faces the challenge of delivering quality services to the population. Almost half of all water produced is unaccounted for because of losses and billing deficiencies, while leaking or overflowing wastewater collection systems are affecting sanitary conditions and contaminating surface and groundwater resources. The Government of Lebanon has already initiated reforms to address the situation by introducing a new water sector law that would improve the efficiency of water servicing authorities by consolidating their services.
The BWWP will focus on optimizing investments in the sector by increasing water supply, distribution and wastewater collection coverage and providing service connections in the towns of Ba’albeck and Nabi Chit – particularly in poor neighborhoods. The project will also promote water conservation by introducing customer water metering and subscriber payment for water and wastewater services. — (menareport.com)
© 2002 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )