CSP Kicks off the Installation of a Solar Farm to Enhance Water Provision in Bechwat (Bekaa) and Neighboring Villages
Bechwat, an agricultural town in the Baalbek District of the Beqaa Valley, is home to 2,000 Lebanese residents and 500 refugees. In addition to supplying water to its residents, Bechwat’s pumping station is a main source of water to the neighboring villages of Safra, El Mshayrfieh, and Ez Zrazir that are home to 500, 400, and 360 residents respectively. For the last 30 years, Bechwat’s municipality operated a back-up generator to ensure continuous water provision amidst frequent state-electricity cuts. However, with state-electricity provision down to 2 hours per day amidst the ongoing economic crisis, the back-up generator fell into disrepair, and the municipality can no longer afford to maintain and operate it. This has severely impacted access to water in the villages, fueling tensions over basic resources. In response, USAID’s Community Support Program (CSP) is upgrading Bechwat’s water pumping station by installing a solar farm with a capacity of 206 kilowatts to ensure the station is continuously powered.
On June 26, 2023, CSP launched site works to rehabilitate the electrical room for the solar energy field and started land preparation for installing the solar panels. USAID assistance in Bechwat is expected to be completed by December 2023 and will provide irrigation water to 3,760 residents and will decrease municipal fuel costs.
“This renewable energy intervention will provide sustainable irrigation water to residents after years of shortage, and will help boost the agricultural sector and farmer livelihoods across three villages”, said Hamdan Keyrouz, Mayor of Bechwat.