(Image Credit: UNSPLASH)
The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) on August 21, Saturday, has warned that more than four million people across Lebanon to face a water crisis in the next few years if preventive measures are not taken immediately. Unless urgent action is taken, more than four million people across Lebanon – predominantly vulnerable children and families – face the prospect of critical water shortages or being completely cut off from safe water supply in the coming days, underlined UNICEF. Last month, UNICEF warned that more than 71 per cent of the population of Lebanon could run out of water this summer. Since then, this perilous situation has continued, with critical services including water and sanitation, power networks and healthcare under huge strain. Necessary facilities such as hospitals and health centres have been without access to safe water due to electricity shortages, putting lives at risk, noted United Nations agency responsible for providing humanitarian and developmental aid to children worldwide.
"If four million people are forced to resort to unsafe and costly sources of water, public health and hygiene will be compromised, and Lebanon could see an increase in waterborne diseases, in addition to the surge in COVID-19 cases," reads the statement released by UNICEF.
The UNICEF appealed for the urgent restoration of the power supply - the only solution to keep water services running. “The needs are massive, and the urgent formation of a new government with clear commitments to reform is critical to tackling the current crisis through determined and systematic action to protect children’s lives and ensure access to water and all basic services," said UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore.
"Our teams in Lebanon are working tirelessly, in incredibly difficult circumstances, to provide life-saving services and continue to support the response to COVID-19, including with vaccine deployment and further expanding of programmes.”
Recently, the agency responsible for providing humanitarian and developmental aid to children worldwide said that the water shortage has worsened in Pakistan's garrison city of Rawalpindi due to the depleting groundwater level and scorching heat. The water tanker business has thrived in the city, as one tanker is being sold between Rs3,000 and Rs 4,000. The depleting water level in Rawal Dam and Khanpur Dam and the falling groundwater level has left a population of 1.6 million in the lurch, with civic agencies only supplying 46 million gallons daily water against the requirement of 59 million.