CSP Enhances Public Safety for 40,000 People and Reduces Municipal Costs at Al Marj
El Marj, a village situated in the central region of the Beqaa Valley, is inhabited by a total population of 16,000 Lebanese residents and 24,000 Syrian refugees. The substantial increase in population further strained already weak infrastructure including the town’s streetlighting system, leading to an increase in car accidents and theft, which fostered a sense of insecurity and fueled communal tensions over public safety. Amidst the national economic crisis, the El Marj municipality could no longer cover the electrical expenses of the highly inefficient streetlighting system or its maintenance costs.
In response, in 2022, the USAID-funded Community Support Program (CSP) replaced 849 inefficient lighting fixtures with new LED-type streetlights and installed twelve electrical distribution boards to ensure the new system’s safe operation.
By end of 2023, this intervention, has not only enhanced the safety of 40,000 residents, but also enabled the municipality to save around $ 4,800 in annual maintenance costs. Additionally, the new efficient streetlighting system reduced electricity consumption to 30 KW/Hr., saving an estimated $ 52,920 in municipal electricity expenses, and enabling the municipality to utilize these savings to improve its provision of essential services throughout the village.
“As women, we now feel significantly safer and more confident moving around at night. The well-lit village has not only decreased robberies and car accidents during foggy or rainy days but has also enabled an overall sense of safety, creating a meaningful change in our daily lives.” Said Somaya Kaanan, El Marj resident.