Arsal is a remote town located in the Northeast of the Bekaa valley in Baalbeck – Hermel Governorate in Lebanon. Arsal is fragile, not only socially and economically but also environmentally as it frequently suffers natural and manmade disasters such as floods, erosions and fires.
Aiming at strengthening basic service delivery at municipal level, the MASAR-VNG International team put in place a Preparedness and Response Plan for Arsal Municipalitybenefitting the 100,000 inhabitants of Arsal, including 156 formal and informal settlements and around 900 shops.
Arsal is the first town in Lebanon to have such a plan, which includes a fully equipped Municipal Operations Room for Disaster & Risk Management connected to a GIS system, and two trained and equipped First Responders’ Teams (Lebanese and Syrian).
The Disaster Risk Prevention & Preparedness Plan was developed in coordination with the Disaster & Risk Management Unit at the office of the Prime Minister. Standard Operating Procedures were also developed and regulated by municipal decision and MASAR supported a technical connection with the National Disaster Risk Reduction Unit through the Governorate of Baalbeck – Hermel, to ensure constant assistance and emergency management capability, sustainability, and ownership.
In November 2021 the MASAR-VNG International team, along with the disaster management unit at the at the office of the Prime Minister at the national level, Arsal Municipality and the disaster management unit of Baalbek – Hermel Governorate and the Lebanese Red Cross, executed a tabletop exercise for the trained Operations Room members in with a simulation drill and intervention for the First Responder’s teams from the Lebanese and Syrian communities.
During 2022 the MASAR-VNG International team in collaboration with the Red Cross has conducted refresher trainings for the First Responders Teams and trained two community initiators (Lebanese and Syrian) on fire prevention.