Beirut Arab University participated with the Civic Influence Hub (CIH) in the Blue Gold Project, which aims at dealing with the obstacles suffered by the water sector in Lebanon. The University participated through two projects presented at an event organized by BAU in Beirut, and attended by Prof. Dr. Amr Galal El Adawi, President of BAU, Mr. Issam Houri, BAU Secretary General, the deans, staff-members and a large crowd of students and interested people. The CIH was represented by Mr. Ziad El Sayegh and Ms. Eldico Qumair.
Dr. Safaa Baydoun, Director of the Research Center for Environment and Development (RCED) at BAU, opened the event, whereby Prof. Dr. Amr Galal El Adawi spoke. He stated that the Blue Gold plan may be considered a successful means to manage water resources through the establishment of a National Council for Water in Lebanon. He called upon the students to contribute to this initiative and to play a promising role in this respect.
El Adawi also highlighted the estimates issued by the Ministry of Energy and Water, stating that of 8.6 billion m2 of water only a minimal amount is made use of. The annual share per individual is estimated at around 1100 m2.
Prof. Dr. Hamdy Seif, professor of Environmental Sciences at the Faculty of Engineering, BAU, drew attention to the problem of receding rainfalls which have given rise to such initiatives aiming at protecting water resources. He called upon concerned authorities to take full responsibility in this matter in addition to initiatives launched by the civil society. He also drew attention to the importance of raising awareness of the importance of water resources and not conceiving of them as mere merchandise. Seif also spoke of the interest of the Faculty of Engineering in the environmental dimensions.
Mr. Ziad Sayegh then gave a presentation of the activities at the Hub and the five-step initiative towards a comprehensive management of water resources in Lebanon. He thanked BAU for participating in this initiative, and spoke of the philosophy of university economy which is capable of crystallizing various initiatives that may serve the environment in Lebanon.
The event closed with the presentation of the two projects submitted by BAU students. The first was submitted by Abbas Mzannar, Jana Abou Shakra and Nour Owaidat, and is based on benefiting from the springs of El Shouf region in Lebanon. The second was submitted by Khaled Abdel Ghani, Mazen Shamaa and Raghad El Haj, and was entitled “Managing Flood Risks in Lebanon”.