DAWWERA: Designing Alternatives for Water, Waste and Energy in Rural Areas
Food security is becoming an increasingly alarming issue in Lebanon. Already vulnerable, the agriculture sector has suffered tremendously in the past couple of years due to the financial and economic crises induced by political turmoil, COVID-19 and the world’s largest non-nuclear explosion in Beirut on August 4, 2020. These crises have added strenuous pressure to the local economy resulting in a nation-wide hyperinflation. As a result, the reliance on locally produced crops keeps increasing thereby creating higher pressure on local farmers most of whom operate small and medium scale farms (80% for the former and 17% for the latter). Marginalized social groups of the country are most heavily affected, among which small and medium scale farmers and producers who are barely capable of sustaining through the prevailing crises. A recent report by Save the Children showed that families in Lebanon are at grave risk of malnutrition due to food prices increasing by 570% since 2020 and the Lebanese pound losing more than 90% of its value. Lebanon’s national food security relies on the livelihoods of small-scale rural farmers/producers thus increasing the need to prioritize the resilience of said sector.
Moreover, the food security system is entwined with other systems such as the water, waste and energy sectors. Overlooking these interconnections when designing policies or strategies for intervention might lead to counteractive and unintended consequences. As such, adopting a holistic and integrated approach is crucial to capture all social, economic and environmental aspects.
Aim Of The Initiative
DAWWERA aims to empower stakeholders in the water-energy waste and food nexus through integrating the circular economy approach that considers the linkages between these sectors, while capturing the social, economic and environmental aspects.
Also work on enhancing and empowering small-scale food producers in the rural areas of Lebanon by integrating circular economy into the food value chain and by using the water-waste-energy food nexus approach. DAWWERA employs an innovative method based on Systems Thinking to map out interconnections between the different sectors relevant to each intervention.
- Utilizing resources efficiently and effectively by designing out waste and regenerating natural systems.
- Establishing a coalition based on the Quintuple Helix Approach(QHA); based on the interactive relationships between the three institutional spheres (university – industry – government) correlated with the environmental and social actors.
The DAWWERA Steering Committee
Environment and Sustainable Development Unit, American University of Beirut
Democracy Reporting International
Norwegian Refugee Council
Development for People and Nature Association
Lebanon Waste Management Coalition
Sustain the World