As the AFKAR program team continues reviewing the final reports on the projects implemented by NGOs, contracted with the Office of the Minister of State for Administrative Reform within the European Union funded AFKAR 3 program, the contracting authority approved the final report on the project "Environmental optimization of sustainable irrigation management and household water use in the semi-arid region of Deir el Ahmar / Beqaa valley”, which was implemented by the “Instituto per la Cooperazione Universitaria” (ICU), in partnership with the “Organization for Social and Agricultural Development” (OSAD). The report reflected the most important activities, results and amounts spent during the implementation phase between May 2016 and May 2018.
The project aims to involve civil society organizations and local authorities in the development and management of environmentally sustainable irrigation systems, which will help to improve agricultural production, reduce desertification and reuse household water resources in Deir el Ahmar.
The activities included several of targeted and pioneering initiatives for better water management. In this context, it is relevant to mention the implementation of a 20,000 m3 lake in Deir el Ahmar (Mallaha Lake) to irrigate 35 hectares of vineyards and benefit to 70 farms.
It has also helped in the installation of 7 km water network in Mchaytieh and Qerrameh. This network is providing water from the water well to fill 5 lakes in these 2 villages. In addition, 3 Km water network is installed in Beit Bou Sleibi, aiming to supply water from the existing lake to the farmers’ land covering the majority of the territories in the village.As well, it is important to mention the distribution of water to the agricultural lands, in order to irrigate 100000 trees for 400 farms, in addition to the installation of 200 flowmeters for irrigation and the improvement of its techniques on farms. Training sessions aimed 300 farmers, as well as awareness raising campaigns on the water management importance in dry areas.
At the same time, the project introduced a pilot grey water treatment experiment, adopting home water treatment techniques in one of the houses in Deir el Ahmar, and industrial water treatment techniques were installed a cooperative in the area.
The closing ceremony of the project was attended by several political, social and media figures. AFKAR program manager , Mrs. Youmna Chacar Ghorayeb, stressed on the importance of benefiting from the civil society experiences in this field, in terms of rationalizing water consumption, which motivates farmers to stay in their land.
Rein Neiland, representing EU Ambassador to Lebanon, said in his speech: “ The local authorities have been able, through working with civil society, to establish a viable agricultural model that meets the needs of the local community and ensures the provision of water for every family in this semi-arid region of Lebanon. This leading project contributes to improve the socio-economic situation in the region, as well as the living conditions of the rural population, and provides motivation for young women and men to stay in their area and contribute to their local development”.