BEIRUT: In an effort to prevent the spread of coronavirus, UN-Habitat Lebanon has designed, produced, and installed communal handwashing stations in different areas in Lebanon.
The 22 stations were set up in Beirut (Sabra and Daouk Ghawash) and Mount Lebanon (Maraach and Nabaa in Bourj Hammoud). The stations will benefit nearly 30,000 people including vulnerable Lebanese residents, refugees, and migrants in poor urban neighborhoods.
The project was achieved in close collaboration with the Municipality of Beirut, Municipality of Bourj Hammoud, and the Popular Aid for Relief and Development (PARD).
“These handwashing stations are vital to the community and show that UN-Habitat’s projects are innovative and proactive and ahead of everyone else. I cherish the opportunity of working with UN-Habitat for the benefit of this community and I look forward to a long-lasting relationship,” said Hayat, a community activist in Nabaa, Bourj Hammoud during the inauguration of the first communal handwashing stations.
This is the first time in Lebanon that such stations have been installed in the streets, on pavements, in vacant municipal spaces, next to public facilities (educational, religious), and in municipal gardens, making hand washing available and accessible to all, especially marginalized community groups.
While handwashing with soap, when done correctly, is critical in the fight against coronavirus, many have no ready access to a place to wash their hands with soap at their homes.
This project has been set as part of the wider United Nations support to the government in their COVID-19 response. UN-Habitat is rolling out a series of COVID-19 projects in some of the most vulnerable urban neighborhoods in Lebanon to help communities mitigate the effects of the pandemic and the ongoing socio-economic crisis.
“Awareness, water, and proper sanitation are the first line of defense against the spread of COVID-19. Through the provision of communal handwashing stations and awareness-raising, this project aims to reduce COVID-19 risks and exposure, targeting vulnerable Lebanese, refugees, and migrants, residing in specific urban areas in Lebanon,” said Taina Christiansen, Head of UN-Habitat Country Programme in Lebanon.
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