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In a wake up call, Chennai has gone 'dry' with the Central Water Commission reporting a rainfall deficit of 41 per cent in Tamil Nadu.
Under the project, two international panels of independent experts have been hired to review dam safety and environmental and social aspects of the project.
The Lebanese Council for Reconstruction and Development (CDR), the implementing agency, has held numerous consultations with Lebanese citizens and civil society groups about the planned Bisri dam and the World Bank has also met often with non-governmental groups.
Under the plan, which is supported by the World Bank, the fresh water would travel naturally by gravitational pull through a 26-kilometer tunnel and be treated for quality at the Wardaniyeh water treatment plant before providing residents of Beirut with safe and clean drinking water.
In recent months, some concerns have been expressed about the safety of the planned Bisri dam and its impact on the area’s environment and biodiversity.
The Bank reiterates its commitment to serve the Lebanese people while fully respecting and safeguarding its natural landscape and social fabric, in the most secure and sustainable manner.
We take this responsibility very seriously, as this project has been designed to benefit all citizens, particularly those who are unable to sustain additional financial burden in view of the current circumstances.
Most of Lebanon’s fresh water is stored in mountain snowcaps or filters into the ground, feeding the thousands of wells that supply water to the capital of Beirut and its surrounding areas along the way.
The pity is that each year, the rest of the water rushes off into the sea instead of being captured and re-channeled to people who can use it for drinking water.
In many ways, Beirut is the capital of resilience and generosity.
Over the centuries, the city has embraced, and continues to embrace, civilizations and cultures of diverse backgrounds and colors, and today, it stands as resilient as ever in the face of subsequent protracted crises in its neighborhood.