USAID Ensures Operation and Maintenance of the Aaitanit Wastewater Treatment Plant
The Aitanit wastewater treatment plant in the Beqaa is one of the few facilities that has continued to operate in Lebanon since the onset of the financial crisis. With a capacity to treat 5000 m³ of wastewater per day and operated by the Bouhaira Union of Municipalities, the plant serves the villages of Aitanit, Machghara, Baaloul, and Qaraoun. The facility’s ageing equipment and diminished funds at both the Union of Municipalities and the Bekaa Water Establishment reduced its operational effectiveness, risking its continuity.
In response, in September 2023, USAID’s Community Support Program (CSP) completed the rehabilitation of the plant by installing new pumps and electro-mechanical systems and upgraded its sludge management by constructing a new building for thickening/dewatering equipment. To sustain this intervention, CSP is training the Beqaa Water Establishment and the Bouhaira Union of Municipalities on the operation and maintenance of the facility.
In parallel and to help these two local stakeholders cope with the financial crisis, USAID through CSP is providing operational and maintenance support for the treatment plan for at least one year; this includes fuel, spare parts, operation personnel, and sludge handling. USAID’s assistance in Aitanit is thus preventing raw sewage from overflowing into the Litani river.
“USAID’s efforts in ensuring the sustainability of this facility during severe national financial constraints has been vital in enabling the Union and the Water Establishment to provide reliable wastewater management services to our communities”, said Yehia Daher, Head of the Bouhaira Union of Municipalities