Today is October 20, but it’s still 33 degrees Celsius (91 degrees Fahrenheit) out, and Beirut woke up to a cloud of fine sooty smog over the city, apparently from a fire in Mount Lebanon. I don’t remember the last time we had enough water from the state, and my balcony overlooks the water company so I’m fairly sure the rest of the country is a lot worse off in this regard. According to the World Bank last August:
The Greater Beirut and Mount Lebanon area houses about 40% of the total Lebanese population. Despite relatively high municipal connection rates reaching 90%, the continuity of water supply is low and reaches as little as 3 hours per day in the lean summer season. This seasonal water imbalance is primarily caused by very low water storage capacity, high amount of water lost to the sea, growing demand for water and the deficiency of existing water networks. Average technical and commercial losses are as high as 40% and further aggravate supply intermittency. In this context, small scale private water vendors have provided water of dubious quality. If no actions are taken to improve distribution efficiency and increase storage capacity, it is estimated that the seasonal imbalance of water resources will lead to chronic water shortages by as early as 2020.
On top of the prolonged heat and lack of water, the political situation remains on a slow boil, which reminds me of Spike Lee’s best film, Do the right thing. Let’s just hope things turn out better here than they do in the movie.