Bringing Fresh Water to Al'Qaa, Lebanon

Water and sanitation projects are central to Rotary International's mission.  For landlocked areas in the middle east, such as Al'Qaa (Elkaa, El Kaa), Lebanon, accessing fresh water for drinking and other everyday needs can be a huge challenge.  Wasim Jarrah, from the Rotary Club of Newmarket, told us about the club's ongoing project to provide assistance.
Wasim Jarrah was born and raised in Lebanon, and came to Canada in 1988.  He makes regular trips to Lebanon to visit and so has continued to be very much aware of the needs of this community.
Al'Qaa is located in a dry, mountainous region with poor infrastructure and approximately 70% unemployment.  For the 19,000 people living in the area, agriculture is the main industry.  The local water infrastructure is used to support farming, as well as 5,000 households and approximately 8,000 Syrian refugees.
The area close to the mountains is a community of about 4,000 people who had depended upon a well accessing an aquifer.  When the pump for the well failed, the residents realized that in addition to a replacement pump, they would need a tractor and a tank to transport water to the mountains.  All homes there have rooftop holding tanks for water but the community lacks the means to deliver the water to the homes.
Wasim saw an opportunity for Rotary to become involved.  One of the partners in this project is the Rotary Club of Beirut Cedars, which committed in October 2018 to fundraise for the $30,000 project budget.  Expected costs include $9,000 for the tractor and tank.  The new pump is expected to last at least 15 years under warranty and local people have the expertise to maintain the infrastructure once it is installed.  Wasim intends to be on site at the time of installation.  Wasim, representatives of Rotary Beirut Cedars, St. Joseph's University in Lebanon, the local mayor and a government ministry representative will provide ongoing oversight and evaluation.