March 18, 2024

The USAID-Funded Community Support Program Ensures Sustainable Access to Irrigation Water for 3,760 Farmers in Bechwat and Neighboring Villages (Beqaa)

Bechwat, an agricultural town in the Beqaa Valley, is home to 2,000 Lebanese residents and 500 refugees. In addition to supplying water to its residents, Bechwat’s water pumping station servesthe neighboring villages of Safra, El Mshayrfieh, and Ez Zrazir that are home to 500, 400, and 360 residents respectively.

Due to Lebanon’s economic crisis, the municipality could no longer afford to maintain the back-up generator that powers the pumping station, leading to its disrepairand fueling tensions over water shortages. In response, USAID’s Community Support Program (CSP) upgraded Bechwat’s water pumping station by rehabilitating its operation room andinstalling a solar farm to ensure its continuous operation. To ensure the sustainability of this intervention, CSP trained municipal and agricultural cooperative members on the operation and maintenance of the upgraded station and provided the municipality with solar-panel sweepers to prolong their lifespan and enhance their efficiency. Additionally, CSP initiated an awareness campaign on water conservation and hosted two town hall meetings to engage farmers and community members on water resource management. On March 1, 2024, the solar-powered water pumping station became fully operational, thereby enhancing access to irrigation water for 3,760 farmers and increasing the potential for agricultural production by 80%. This renewable energy intervention has also reduced municipal fuel costs by $300/week.

“This project granted the cooperative access to water just in time for the upcoming cropping season. Thanks to USAID, farmers can now expand by cultivating additional fields while eliminating water trucking and other production costs”, said TannousKeyrouz, Head of the Bechwat Agricultural Cooperative.



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