The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) warned of a crisis due to the severe shortage of drinking water in Lebanon.
“Unless urgent action is taken, more than four million people across Lebanon – predominantly vulnerable children and families – face the prospect of critical water shortages or being completely cut off from safe water supply in the coming days,” the Executive Director of the organization, Henrietta Fore, said in a statement on Saturday.
She added that “Last month, UNICEF warned that more than 71 per cent of the population of Lebanon could run out of water this summer. Since then, this perilous situation has continued, with critical services including water and sanitation, power networks and healthcare under huge strain. Vital facilities such as hospitals and health centres have been without access to safe water due to electricity shortages, putting lives at risk.”
She explained that “Lebanon could see an increase in waterborne diseases,” calling for the urgent restoration of power supplies, to keep water services running in the country.
She noted the importance of “the urgent formation of a new government with clear commitments to reform, in addressing the current crisis.”
Since August 10, 2020, a new Lebanese government has been unable to be formed, due to political disputes over ministerial portfolios, to replace the current government, which resigned 6 days after the explosion of the port of Beirut.
For more than two months, Lebanon has been suffering from a severe shortage of fuel for power generation, due to the lack of foreign funds. This has led to the increase of power cuts to more than 22 hours a day, thus affecting people’s daily life.
On August 17, the United Nations warned of the impact of the fuel crisis in Lebanon on access to health care services and water supplies to millions of people, stressing on the urgent need to avoid a disaster.