by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent
(Worthy News) – UNICEF reported last week that over 71% of people in Lebanon are at immediate risk of losing access to safe water as a grinding economic crisis causes water pumping to cease across the country. More than 4 million citizens are within ‘highly critical’ and ‘critical’ levels of risk.
According to UNICEF, water pumping in Lebanon will gradually cease in the next four to six weeks. “Unless urgent action is taken, hospitals, schools, and essential public facilities will be unable to function and over four million people will be forced to resort to unsafe and costly sources of water, putting children’s health and hygiene at risk,” UNICEF said in a July 23 statement.
The current crisis is a result of a catastrophic economic situation, and shortages of funding, fuel, and supplies to a public water system that is overwhelmed, UNICEF said.
“The water sector is being squeezed to destruction by the current economic crisis in Lebanon, unable to function due to the dollarized maintenance costs, water loss caused by non-revenue water, the parallel collapse of the power grid and the threat of rising fuel costs,” Yukie Mokuo, UNICEF Representative in Lebanon, added in a statement.
“At the height of the summer months, with COVID-19 cases beginning to rise again due to the Delta variant, Lebanon’s precious public water system is on life support and could collapse at any moment,” Mokuo said.
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