CSP-constructed Retaining Wall Promotes Additional Investment in Public Safety in Ghazze
Ghazze, the capital of the West Beqaa Municipal Union, is home to 7,000 Lebanese residents and more than 12,000 Syrian refugees. The sustained presence of a large number of refugees further weakened already-strained infrastructure and limited the municipality’s ability to provide basic services, including the urgent need to improve public safety.
One of the town’s main roads was compromised by a collapsing retaining wall, impacting a sidewalk connecting pedestrians with mosques, the area’s public middle school, the municipal union building, and an informal refugee settlement comprising about 100 tents.
This was a key security concern fueling tensions over public safety and equitable service provision. In response, in July 2020, USAID’s Community Support Program (CSP) rebuilt the 60-meter-long retaining wall with railings stretching along the sidewalk. The new retaining wall was designed to mitigate traffic vibrations and lateral forces affecting the wall’s slope and preventing any potential risks.
In September 2023, CSP conducted a follow-up visit to Ghazze to monitor the impact of the intervention, where the municipality continued to express satisfaction about the quality of the wall’s construction and its impact in enhancing public safety and reducing communal tensions. This intervention is not only improving public safety for more than 19,000 residents, but its impact is also encouraging other actors to continue supporting Ghazze’s public service needs. In fact, the municipality reported that it had received further assistance from international NGO the Danish Refugee Council (DRC) to repair the sidewalk stretching along the CSP-constructed wall and provide a public garden with benches and a basketball playground.
“The construction of this retaining wall reduced potential exposure to risks and tensions between both Lebanese and Syrian communities in Ghazze and has opened the door for new donor assistance,” said the mayor of Ghazze, Mohammad el Majzoub.