A general view of Litani river which is part of the artificial Qaraoun lake in the area of West Bekaa, Lebanon, October 23, 2016. REUTERS/ Jamal Saidi
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LARI's tests on water samples collected in 10 locations across Lebanon resulted in an average 90.7 percent non-conformity level for microbiological contamination, indicating high rates of bacteria and viruses.According to a study conducted by Oxfam, the Bekaa Water Establishment – where water consumption is among the highest – is only able to collect payment from 62 percent of subscribed households.While this constitutes only 14.4 percent of consumption, it costs households a staggering 69.9 percent of total water costs.The approximately 1.5 million Syrians in Lebanon are estimated to have raised the demand for water by 8 to 12 percent as of 2014 – an increase major NGOs working in the field evaluate as a rather modest impact.If that water were supplied through the public network, agencies could pay up to 15 times less.UNICEF, the U.N. agency leading the water and sanitation intervention, has been paying an average $9 million per year to truck water to 80 percent of the ITSs deemed to be in need.
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