Flood Risk Management & Water Harvesting for Livelihood Recovery in Baalback- Hermel (Phases I & II)
Mr. Robert Watkins
UNDP Resident Representative
Flood Risk Management & Water Harvesting for Livelihood Recovery in Baalback- Hermel
(Phases I & II)
Ø Flood risk management activities in Baalback-Hermel started in February 2008 with funding from the Government of Spain through the LRF. The total budget is $6.6 million dollars for the watershed of the villages of Aarsal, Fakeha and Ras Baalback. The total watershed area is approximately 380km2
Ø The project was implemented in close coordination with the Ministry of Agriculture and it’s technical design phase was also coordinated with the Ministry of Energy and Water. Works on-the-ground were undertaken in partnerships with the municipalities in the region
Ø The project was executed through two phases and aimed at the management and reduction of flood risk impacts, the restoration of vegetation cover (reforestation) and improved availability of irrigation water needed to increase crop productivity and improve standards of living in Baalback-Hermel region.
I. Phase I: It covers around 94 km2 of an isolated watershed area which lies within two big affected villages namely Aarsal and Al-Fakeha.
· Flood Management
161 Check dams, contour bunds and stone walls were constructed to reduce the velocity of runoff water and improve soil infiltration in addition to 8 reservoirs (Hafeers) between 30,000m3 and 100,000m3 in capacity, established to accommodate the remaining runoff water.
· Water Harvesting
One reservoir of 30,000m3 capacity was constructed in the village of Deir El Ahmar to collect unused water, rainfall and snow melt runoff, with an irrigation network to encourage modern and efficient irrigation techniques.
In parallel, the project identified areas sensitive to soil erosion for forestation with wild endemic fruit trees and other plant species of potential use and benefits to the neighboring communities. Around 25,000 seedlings were produced and planted in close collaboration with Aarsal Development Association.
II. Phase II: The total watershed area is around 250 km2, and it affects mainly Ras Baalback and the neighboring villages which is the one we are inaugurating today.
· Flood Management
105 Check dams and stone walls constructed. 13 reservoirs (Hafeers) varying between 30,000m3 and 120,000m3 in capacity, established to accommodate the remaining runoff water.
The project identified an area of 5.7 ha to be planted with 5,000 wild endemic fruit trees and seeds. The activity was done in close collaboration with Ras Baalback Association.
· Public Awareness
Awareness campaigns and training sessions were delivered to local communities and municipalities on subjects related to water management, use and maintenance of modern irrigation systems, maintenance of flood preventing structures and reservoirs and land cover protection. As well, an excavator and a water cistern were delivered to the Municipality of Ras Baalback for the maintenance of reservoirs and irrigation use.