CSP Improves Access to Both Electricity and Water in Hasbaiya
Hasbaiya in South Lebanon is home to around 8,000 residents and more than 700 refugees who, amidst the country’s debilitating economic crisis, have been grappling with lengthy power outages, forcing the municipality to rely on eleven backup generators for the supply of electricity. However, with the devaluation of the national currency, their operation and maintenance has strained the municipal budget and access to electricity has become an increasingly unaffordable burden on local households. The consequent degradation of living conditions and limited public services fueled rising intercommunal tensions over basic resources.
In response, in September 2022, USAID’s Community Support Program (CSP) upgraded Hasbaiya’s backup electricity infrastructure by installing a photovoltaic solar farm (104 kilowatts), and equipping it with necessary accessories including mounting structures, electrical work, cabling, and an advanced control system to ensure safe operations and a continuous source of green energy for Hasbaiya’s 8,700 residents. To ensure the sustainability of this intervention, CSP trained municipal members on the safe operation and maintenance of the new hybridized system, budget management, and environmental compliance.
Since its operation, the new system has enabled the municipality to save approximately 2,500 liters of diesel per month, worth $2,500. The significant savings resulting from decreased diesel consumption allowed the municipality to direct diesel to the El Hasbani water pumping station, which is operated by the South Lebanon Water Establishment (SLWE) and is the main water source for Hasbaiya and neighboring villages. The spare fuel provided by the municipality of Hasbaiya to the Hasbani water pumping station is guaranteeing consistent and reliable water supply for Hasbaiya’s 8,700 residents and an additional 6,300 residents in the area, and saving them from the financial burden of buying potable water, an extra cost that weighs heavily on households amidst the nationwide economic crisis.
“This project aligns with the municipality’s vision of transforming a portion of our electricity generation into cleaner energy sources. The savings are already contributing to increasing water supply to neighboring villages, as well as the establishment of a second solar farm in Hasbaiya,” said Labib Hamra, Mayor of Hasbaiya.