Over 4 Million Lebanese to Run Out of Water in Coming Days Over Power Shortages, UNICEF Warns
© AP Photo / Bilal HusseinPeople gather outside the port to mark the first anniversary of the massive blast at Beirut's port, in Beirut, Lebanon, Wednesday, Aug. 4, 2021.
© AP Photo / Bilal Hussein
BEIRUT (Sputnik) - More than 4 million people in Lebanon are at risk of losing access to safe water supply in "the coming days" due to electricity shortages that hinder water and sanitation services, UNICEF reported on Saturday.
If urgent measures are not taken, over 4 million people, mostly children and socially vulnerable groups of society, will encounter water shortages or its total lack, according to UNICEF.
"If four million people are forced to resort to unsafe and costly sources of water, public health and hygiene will be compromised, and Lebanon could see an increase in waterborne diseases, in addition to the surge in COVID-19 cases," the report warned.
Sustainable power supply must be restored, UNICEF stated, otherwise, water, sanitation, power networks and healthcare are under the threat of collapse.
“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."
Almost all power stations were stopped in Lebanon over a month ago, as the cash-strapped state could not purchase enough fuel to run them. In most districts electricity is available for no more than one hour daily. As a result, many private hospitals, enterprises, hotels, restaurants had to suspend operations.