DCM Edward White Speech at Inauguration of the Pumping Station

Ghazzeh, Beqaa
November 9, 2018

 

Good Morning Director General (Rizk) Rizk, Qaim Maqam of West Beqaa and Rashaia (Wissam Nassabayh), Mayor (Mahmoud) Majzoub, distinguished guests; ladies and gentlemen. I am delighted to be here with you today to inaugurate this new pumping station, which will provide safe, reliable water to the residents of Ghazzeh.

This project symbolizes the strength of the U.S. Government commitment and collaboration with our Lebanese partners to provide the citizens of this country with clean water.  It also reflects our broader commitment to helping Lebanon strengthen its infrastructure and ability to deliver services to its people.

Since 2000, the U.S. Government, through the United States Agency for International Development, has invested more than $180 million in Lebanon’s water sector.  Together with our local partners, this support has increased the quantity, and improved the quality, of Lebanon’s water supply.

Whether building canal networks, upgrading pumping stations, or fighting pollution in the Litani River, the U.S. Government works closely with the Water Establishments, municipalities, and citizens to achieve our shared goal of safe, clean water that is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week—for everyone.

Much of USAID’s water assistance has focused on the Beqaa region.  As elsewhere in Lebanon, the Beqaa suffers seasonal water scarcity.  The demands of the agricultural sector, and the large number of Syrian refugees, place additional strains on water availability here.

Thus far, in the Beqaa region, we have provided more than $8 million to upgrade infrastructure facilities like this one and 19 other water sources, supplying over 280,000 Beqaa residents with clean water. USAID works with the Litani River Authority, communities, and private industry to reduce environmentally unsound practices and reduce pollution in the Litani River.

USAID’s institutional mission is to help partners achieve self-reliance, and the new solar power system will significantly reduce operational and maintenance costs to the Beqaa Water Establishment.

The U.S. Government’s support to increase the quality and delivery of utility services such as water is a very important part of our broader economic engagement in Lebanon.  Since 2007, the U.S. Government has provided more than $1.2 billion dollars in economic assistance to the Lebanese people to support inclusive economic growth and improve the provision of public services.

In closing, we thank the Beqaa Water Establishment and the Mayor and Municipal Council of Ghazzeh for their strong partnership. They have the vision and dedication to advance the well-being of the residents of Ghazzeh. We also thank the Ministry of Water and Energy for their collaboration and determination to make substantial improvements in the sector.

We look forward to continuing to work together to protect the environment and improve the lives of the people of Lebanon. Thank you, and thank you for having me here.