BEIRUT, June 5 (Xinhua) -- Lebanon on Monday co-launched with UNICEF and the European Union a new project to sustain the continuity of wastewater treatment services in Lebanon amid the country's multiple crises.
The project, which kicked off on World Environment Day which falls on June 5, brings back into operation 11 essential wastewater treatment plants nationwide and promotes awareness of wastewater's impact on the environment and health.
"The World Environment Day that we celebrate today sheds light on a painful reality that our country suffers from due to years of accumulated environmental crises and the absence of radical action," said Lebanese caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati.
"We hope it will be an opportunity for the Lebanese government to take responsibility in managing and improving these facilities instead of relying on others," he added.
EU Ambassador to Lebanon Ralph Tarraf said the project mitigates the risks of waterborne diseases and protects the well-being of citizens, adding "it is also an investment in the country's economic recovery."
For his part, Ettie Higgins, UNICEF deputy representative in Lebanon, said that "UNICEF remains committed to strengthening the water establishments' capacity to ensure equitable and sustainable provision of wastewater services to reduce the spread of infections and save lives."