On March 22nd 2019, the Building Alliance for Local Advancement, Development, and Investment (BALADI) Program, funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and implemented by Caritas Lebanon, celebrated the completion of the “Kahale Traditional Mill” project in the Aley District. USAID provided $256,156 worth of in-kind assistance to support the rehabilitation of the town’s old mill into a rural tourism and events venue that will benefit more than 3,000 persons per year. The Kahale municipality also contributed an additional $41,265 worth of works and various equipment.
The USAID assistance completion ceremony was attended by USAID Project Management Specialist Mrs. Christine Sayegh, President of Caritas Lebanon Reverend Father Paul Karam, and the Mayor of Kahale Mr. Jean Bejjani. Ms. Sayegh noted that the restauration of the Mill will support increased visitors to Kahale and contribute to improving the economy in and around the village. Mr. Bejjani, highlighted the importance this assistance holds in the community in terms of activating a landmark where residents can benefit this public space. Mayor Bejjani noted that the success of the project was made possible with strong partnership between USAID, Caritas Lebanon, and the municipality.
During the event, attendees opened the three-day “Flower Festival” in the USAID-sponsored venue. The Flower Festival is organized by the Kahale Municipality from March 22 until March 24. The festival welcomes the spring season in the area and includes up to 20 flower, food, and handicrafts vendors.
Since 2012, USAID has implemented 87 community development activities in more than 140 municipalities in 22 districts. Since 2007, the U.S. government has provided more than $1.2 billion dollars in economic assistance to the Lebanese people. Activities have included back-up electricity generation through solar power and traditional means, irrigation systems, improvement of public schools and community health clinics, income-generation activities, and development of community centers and public spaces.
More information about the USAID-funded BALADI program can be found at http://baladi-lebanon.org/en