Title Lebanon - Boys using hand washing facility

Lebanon: Improvement of access to water for host communities and refugees


one-time    regular
The war waits behind the river Nahr Al Kabir which separates the North of Lebanon and Syria. Life has changed in the Lebanese district Akkar as violence, destruction and displacement took over. Visible signs are the thousands of Syrian families who fled there. It is estimated that in total more than 1.5 million Syrians seek protection in the neighboring country. Some of them settled down directly in the borderland. They live in informal camps, empty houses, rented rooms or makeshift shelters.
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The dimension of the influx is a discomfort to the area. Additionally, there are long-standing conflicts between different ethnic and religious groups, threatening to escalate. In view of the variety of challenges the politicians in charge and the administration can hardly meet their duties. There is shortage and mismanagement. For the local inhabitants and the Syrian families this means a life under extreme conditions.

Dilapidated water systems will be repaired

In cooperation with a local partner organization arche noVa addresses one of the most pressing issues: the water supply. In 33 communities with 64.500 inhabitants the drinking water and service water systems will be vindicated and expanded. The activities include wells, pumps, pipelines and reservoir tanks. Finally the local and the fled families will receive better water for less money.

The North of District Akkar was insufficiently tapped even prior to the acute crisis and since the influx of the Syrian refugees the supply conditions are entirely inadequate. In some villages it is only possible to receive water from the centralized system one hour per day. The allocation is not adequate to meet the needs at all. Repair works on the more than 30-year-old systems have been neglected for years. This is even worse as the local inhabitants and the responsible authorities do not dispose the financial means to change this.

In this case of emergency most of the families meet their needs by purchasing bottled water from commercial providers. The money which is spent on this is missing for food, clothes, electricity, school books, medicals and everything else that the families need. In contrast, those who waive safe, bottled water, have to reckon to suffer from water indicated diseases. The health authorities consider that half of all illnesses are caused by contaminated foods and water. Aim of our project is to improve the hygiene conditions significantly. For this construction measures are implemented and furthermore specific hygiene promotion is provided.

Improvement of provision for pupils

The other main point of our project focuses on the education sector, more specific on the water and sanitation supply in schools. In coordination with the responsible authorities and the communities on spot, our team determined 36 schools in the project area, with the most urgent need for action. Generally speaking: the supply systems are obsolete and exhibit sustainable defects in most of the schools. Our team identifies the necessary measures for each selected school individually and develops a customized improvement suggestion which will be implemented. In addition to the vindication of water systems, toilets and washbasins the construction works also include the installation of water filters and drinking water dispensers.

Participation and integration on every level

The people in Lebanon are used to handling their affairs on their own. They wait in vain for external assistance or the intervention of government agencies. Major plans like the maintenance of water infrastructure often lie idle for years. In the meantime the grievances extend to further areas – including the environment, power supply and health system. The acceptance of many Syrian refugees made the situation even more difficult. So far, the international assistance focuses on informal refugee shelters in particular. Our project approach takes a different path and includes all affected people and all interest groups. Not only the municipalities but also the responsible authorities on the different administrative levels participate from the very beginning.

Our project focuses equally on locals as well as on refugee families from Syria and therefor defuses the competitive situation which developed during the last years despite the hospitality toward asylum seekers. Delicate questions like the equitable access to water or the potential necessary rationing of expenses will be discussed with the project community.

Donate for this project

Soap for a soap dispenser for one year
Drinking water supply for five children at their school
Safe drinking water for 75 households by rehabilitating a well

Project Overview


Improvement of water supply in northern Lebanon for Syrian refugees and their host population


Target Group
60,000 people (Syrian refugees and Lebanese residents) in Akkar district and northern Lebanon
  • Rehabilitation and extension of municipal water supply systems

  • Rehabilitation and improvement of water supply and sanitation in 30 schools

  • Improvement of hygiene conditions through training (fugitives and locals)

Since August 2018
Co-operation partners

Tankamel Sawa

  • Federal Ministry for Economic and Cooperation and Development
  • private donors