04-10-2011. Source: ENPI info centre

The Nahr el Bared canal in Northern Lebanon, the main source of irrigation for farmers in several municipalities, benefiting nearly 35,000 people, has recently been rehabilitated through an EU grant amounting to €755,000. “The EU always followed a dual strategy: the implementation of high impact local development projects, and the institutional strengthening of relevant authorities. In this regard, the partnership with Water Company in Northern Lebanon is promising,” Ambassador Angelina Eichhorst has said, according to a Delegation press release.

In addition to the important rehabilitation work, awareness raising activities related to water management were held with communities in order to ensure the maintenance of the canal and respect for the environment when implementing agricultural practices.

Jamal Krayem, Director of the Water Company in Northern Lebanon said: “The Water Company in Northern Lebanon and its team were able to acquire new expertise in the design, management and execution of a contract concluded with the EU, according to its conditions and criteria. This is a first experience for us.”

Furthermore, Ambassador Eichhorst met the team of the Council for Development and Reconstruction and the Economic and Social Fund for Development, responsible for the implementation of the “Programme to support local development in Northern Lebanon”.Through a grant of €18 million, this programme will fund agricultural rural infrastructure andsupport local initiatives implemented by municipalities.

She also visited the village of El Bourj to inaugurate a photo exhibition titled “The natural resources of High Akkar” as part of a project funded through an EU grant of €414,000, titled “Promoting economic and public participation of women in Lebanon”. The exhibition, organised by the Rene Moawad Foundation andMADA NGO, displayed the rich natural heritage of NorthLebanon. A discussion with elected officials – mayors and deputies – was held on the subject ofthe natural park of Qammoua.

Ambassador Eichhorst said: “There is no appreciation or protection of resources without a common vision and prior and coordinated planning. The strategy should be elaborated at regional level and involve all development stakeholders. In the High Akkar, the European Union is committed to supporting this local development dynamic by financing a plan on land use at the regional level.”