Improved Solid Waste Management System in the Bekaa
October 4, 2018 | Beirut, Lebanon American Near East Refugee Aid (Anera) in partnership with UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, has begun the implementation of a solid waste management initiative in the villages of Majdal Anjar, Mansoura, and Temnin El Foka, focusing on households, informal settlements, facilities, farms, and slaughterhouses.
The It Starts with You initiative is part of Anera’s Community Based Solid Waste Management project, which aims to improve sanitation and hygiene in the villages. The program is upgrading the solid waste management systems used by each municipality. Public engagement and the participation of municipalities and local NGOs will be critical to the success of this initiative. The initiative will run through the end of December, 2018.
Lebanon’s weak infrastructure and limited resources meant that there was an urgent need for support from humanitarian and development organizations. The presence of over one million Syrian refugees has put more pressure on already limited infrastructure and services, including in the sector of solid waste. The three municipalities of Majdal Anjar, Temnin El Foka, and Mansoura have been particularly affected.
To fill these gaps, Anera, with the support of UNHCR, is distributing bins to local households for sorting waste into recyclable and organic, encouraging local communities to start sorting waste at its source. Bin distributions will be accompanied by educational activities, such as coloring book distributions, presentations at schools and community gatherings, flash-mobs, and youth-led activities, in addition to recognizing neighborhoods with the highest participation rates.
Anera and UNHCR hope these efforts will lead to a reduction in the amount of waste produced by communities, and an increase in waste recycling and sorting. The program will empower communities to actively contribute to keep their local environments clean, one step towards achieving an effective solid waste management system and a healthier future for their children.
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For 50 years, Anera has helped refugees and others hurt by conflicts in the Middle East live with dignity and purpose. Anera, which has no political or religious affiliation, works on the ground with partners in the West Bank, Gaza, East Jerusalem, Lebanon, and Jordan. We mobilize resources for immediate humanitarian relief and for sustainable health, education, and economic development efforts. Our staff are from the communities they serve, navigating the politics that constrict progress to get help where it’s needed most. In this way, Anera has grown to deliver more than $65 million in programming annually. We will keep building better lives until hope finds its way in the Middle East.