USAID Administrator Samantha Power Visits CSP’s Solar-Powered Pumping Station in Majdel Aanjar (Beqaa)
Majdel Aanjar, Beqaa, is home to around 25,500 Lebanese residents and 32,000 refugees. The significant presence of refugees has long strained the municipality’s ability to meet the town’s basic needs, including access to household water, which was further exacerbated by the ongoing electricity and fuel crises. The worsening economic crisis has also limited the ability of the town’s agricultural cooperative to modernize its outdated and inefficient equipment, affecting farmer production and leading to decreased livelihoods. The situation has contributed to growing communal tensions over water shortages and income-generation opportunities. In response, the USAID-funded Community Support Program (CSP) installed solar photovoltaic modules to operate the town’s water pumping system, as well as rehabilitated the pumping station and upgraded its chlorination room. This clean energy solution ensures continuous access to water for around 19,000 beneficiaries while decreasing associated costs on residents and the local government. In parallel, and to improve livelihoods, CSP also provided the town’s COOP with equipment to expand agri-production, including commercial stoves, ovens, and freezers, as well as vacuum packing machines and fruit and vegetable dehydrators to ensure food safety. This intervention will increase income generation opportunities to an estimated 100 underserved farmer households.
On November 9, 2022, USAID Administrator Samantha Power visited Majdel Aanjar during her 3-day visit to Lebanon, where she, along with the U.S Ambassador to Lebanon Dorothy Shea and USAID/Lebanon Mission Director Mary Eileen Devitt, toured the solar-powered water pumping station and met with residents benefiting from it, and others benefiting from the equipment provided to the town’s cooperative. “These panels are saving the local government money, more than $95,000 worth of fuel annually, and saving each household $80 a month because those households no longer have to truck in water or buy bottles. This is a very significant savings here in Majdel Anjar where household income, monthly, averages around $40. So, despite the fuel shortages and the high prices, more than half of the residents here can count on receiving clean water,” stated Administrator Power.