Shelter Mission to Lebanon and Jordan

30 September 2019

In this article, we explain more about the Shelter program, their workshops, missions and other initiatives. Shelter is one of the employee programs funded by the Lovinklaan Foundation. It’s a partnership program between Arcadis and UN-Habitat aimed at a common goal: to improve the quality of life of citizens in rapidly growing cities around the world. Since 2010, an impressive number of more than 100 technical support missions have been completed in Asia, Africa and Middle and South America.

Robert Kruijt from the Arcadis office in Amersfoort, the Netherlands, went on a Shelter mission to Lebanon and Jordan. In this article, he tells us about his experiences.

When I first heard I had been chosen for this mission, I was very excited to be given the opportunity to contribute my expertise to these countries in cooperation with the UN-Habitat Team.

We went to the Bekaa Valley in Lebanon and several cities in the north of Jordan to perform a technical feasibility study for the implementation of water related climate change adaption interventions. In these two counties (being two of the most water scarce countries in the world), climate change has an enormous impact. Water is already extremely precious in these regions and will become even more so in the coming years. Due to climate change, these regions will receive even less rain, the temperature will rise, and the periods of drought will increase. As a result, the water shortage has been dramatically increasing, and water management, water saving and water storage solutions are critical for these regions.

This mission involved many stakeholders, each looking at the water management issues from their own unique perspective. It was a challenge to get all these stakeholders on the same page and get agreement between all parties about the right solution, but we succeeded in the end.

Taking part in a UN-Habitat international and local team was great. It was extremely interesting to see how this team puts so much energy in the project to work on a sustainable future for Lebanon and Jordan. Working in an environment with dedicated people in a different cultural context was a very valuable experience.