Beirut: 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.
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.