The Swiss Cooperation Office in Lebanon (SCO) aims at shaping water management in Lebanon by a close support to the Bekaa Water Establishment (BWE). BWE is responsible for the water and sanitation services in the whole Bekaa valley.
The purpose of the project aims at serving the population living in the Bekaa valley with improved water and sanitation services.
Bekaa Water Establishment (BWE) is the main partner for this project. It is one of four Water Establishments within Lebanon. BWE administers the Bekaa Valley including the major part of the area towards Syria. Beneficiaries and clients of BWE include mainly Lebanese communities, and to some extent also Syrian and Palestine Refugees. Improving the capacity of BWE enhances crisis resilience in the entire valley and contributes to the water sector reform such as planned by the government of Lebanon.
The current challenges of BWE are multi-faceted. They are not only related to the fragile and weak infrastructure and institutional shortcomings but also due to a limited capacity of employees (technical, managerial, and organizational skills), as well as a lack of experience and of financial funds.
Our backstopping mandate to the local SCO team supporting BWE included advise on the following questions:
- How can the Swiss cooperation best contribute to a better organization of processes and the governing management of BWE?
- How can BWE improve their management structure given current staffing and funding?
- How to best coordinate and create synergies with other financing and supporting organizations active in the area?
- What is the nature of the current data generated and used by BWE, how is it analysed and how could BWE improve the quality of data and analysis processes?
- How to best integrate and support corporate governance through new operational units within the current structure of BWE, including relations with external stakeholders (e.g. municipalities, ministries)?
In the course of this mandate, we initiated and supported a pioneering application of the AquaRating methodology in the Middle East and North African Region – an internationally developed methodology for transforming the management of water and sanitation utilities.
Dr. Andreas Zysset