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This section presents stakeholder consultation events, undertaken by the INECO Partner in Lebanon, Conseil et Développement s.a.l in April and May 2007.


Consultation meetings in the Damour Municipality

17/04/07 with Mr. Tony Nasr & Mr. Mouin Fadel

7/05/07 with Mr. Charles Ghafari (president) & Mr. Tony Nasr)

During the meetings, the following issues were discussed/raised:

  • The Damour River is formed by the confluence of two river streams; river water is used for the irrigation of agricultural lands, and for domestic water supply.

  • Currently, wastewater from the upstream villages is being discharged in the Damour river.

  • Governmental authorities are issuing permits for private wells without prior control and environmental impact assessment. This has contributed to the deterioration of groundwater quality as a result of sea intrusion.

  • Two small dams have been constructed in the region, and are maintained by the Damour municipality. The municipality manages water distribution in irrigated areas, and in return collects the relevant charges from agricultural land owners.

  • No water meters have been installed in the Damour region. The municipality is collecting fees from residents who can afford to pay. Mr. Tony Nasr has proposed to substitute this annual fee with water meter installation and supply water at an affordable price. The issue is still pending.

  • The main water management problems encountered by the Municipality of Damour are:

    • Pollution, caused by domestic waste disposed in the river, and wastewater discharge from neighbouring restaurants and villages. Furthermore, permits are issued by the Ministry of Energy & Water Resources for different commercial and industrial projects without any control or study.

    • Financial problems due to low efficiency in the collection of fees and taxes. This inhibits adequate infrastructure maintenance.

  • The Damour municipality is currently monitoring groundwater quality through regular laboratory analyses. Results indicate that thus far water is potable.


Consultation meeting in the Meshref Municipality

10/5/07 with Mr. Youssef Aoun (president) & members of the municipality

The meeting focused on discussing water management problems encountered in the area and ensuring stakeholder commitment to local project events.

Meshref is a small agricultural village bordering the Damour village, with a population of approximately 2,000 inhabitants. The dominant economic activity is olive cultivation. There are no water meters in Meshref; residents only pay a monthly charge of 15,000 L.L. (US$ 10). The 1st branch of the Damour river supplies 9 villages: Dmit, Kfarmatta, Al Debbieh, Kfarfaoud, Bechtfine, Kfarkatra, Wadi El Sett, Brih, Nabeh El Safa. Additionally, 3 villages depend on the 2nd Damour river stream (Sir Jbeil, Al Jahilieh, and Baakline).

The main problems encountered in the region of Meshref include the reduction of available water supply, sea intrusion in the coastal aquifer, river pollution and uncontrolled municipal wastewater discharge into surface waters. The main solution proposed by the Meshref municipality is the construction of a storage reservoir in order to meet the village water needs. A dam feasibility study has already been undertaken, but the project has not been implemented yet.


Meeting with the Ministry of Environment

24/4/07 with Mr. Khalil Zein & Ms Manal Moussallem

Ministry representatives showed interest in the project and confirmed their participation to the workshop/conference. The Ministry has worked on an environmental project that included Damour River Basin (CAMP project).


Contact with the Council of Development & Reconstruction (CDR)

Mr. Jawdat Abou Jaoudeh showed interest for participating in local project activities, but pointed out that CDR has no influence on water problems & solutions in the Damour River Basin.


Meeting with the Beirut & Mount Lebanon Water Authority

22/4/07 with Mr. Georges Al Kadi

At present, the authority is carrying out a comprehensive survey on water distribution. The survey part which is related to the Damour River Basin, has not yet been completed, due to the prevailing political and economic environment. According to Mr. Kadi, the Ministry of the Environment, the Ministry of Water & Hydraulic Resources, and the Council of Development and Reconstruction (CDR) are the parties which are mostly involved in assessments for the Damour River Basin.