CSP Mobilizes for the Installation of 200 Solar Streetlights to Enhance Public Safety in Qabb Elias (Beqaa)
Qabb Elias is a village in Zahleh, Beqaa, that is home to 50,000 Lebanese residents and 35,000 Syrian refugees. It hosts the largest refugee population in the area occupying 40 informal tented settlements. In addition to the sustained presence of refugees straining already hampered infrastructure, Qabb Elias is struggling with increased unemployment and poverty rates exacerbated by the ongoing nationwide socio-economic crisis. Moreover, with state-electricity provision down to 2-hours per day, and despite being connected to a back-up generator, the municipality can no longer afford to operate the village’s existing streetlight system which includes High-Pressure Sodium (HPS) bulbs that consume a lot of energy. This is leaving the majority of Qabb Elias’ neighborhoods in complete darkness at night, which is leading to increased robberies and car accidents, and fueling communal tensions over safety and security. In response, USAID’s Community Support Program (CSP) is installing 200 solar streetlights in priority residential areas and strategic positions as identified in coordination with the municipality. On June 22, CSP initiated the groundwork for this intervention and by July 7, 52 out of the 200 streetlights were successfully installed. This activity ensures continuous streetlighting services, enables safe accessibility to public areas, and promotes security among 85,000 residents, all while reducing municipal electrical costs.
“This environmentally friendly intervention is crucial amidst lack of public electricity provision and high fuel expenses. It will surely reduce municipal financial burdens and provide a sustainable streetlighting solution to enhance safety and security for the community of Qabb Elias”, said Jihad Moualim, Mayor of Qabb Elias.