On Friday, 21 October 2016, UNDP Live Lebanon initiative and MTV Lebanon signed a strategic partnership of The National Campaign for Better Roads “Ensa Joura” at the Hilton Beirut Habtoor Grand in the presence of the Minister of Public Works and Transport Mr. Ghazi Zaiter, UNDP Country Director Mr. Luca Renda , and MTV Chairman and CEO Mr. Michel El Murr.
After the national anthem, UNDP Country Director Mr. Luca Renda commenced the ceremony with a speech in which he spoke about the importance of this project that aims to improve and provide safer road conditions for drivers in Lebanon.
“Every year between 600 and 800 people lose their lives on the streets, partly as a result of poor road conditions and potholes. These tragic losses can and should be avoided. The Ministry of Public Works and Transport, headed by Minister Zaiter, has introduced an innovative solution to solve this problem. And today, MTV and Live Lebanon are following suit by bringing the message to the streets of Lebanon and taking action to close potholes in a campaign that will cover all regions of Lebanon.” Mr. Renda said.
“There are three direct benefits in this initiative: first and foremost, reduce the number of accidents, saving lives and preventing injuries. Second, protect our environment by using an eco-friendly solution that produces zero waste. And third, save you some money on changing your car tires.” He added.
Mr. Renda commended MTV their engagement in this project and for their commitment in raising attention to the public’s concerns and voicing the needs of the people stating: “Their engagement in this campaign is a tangible example of this important role.”
“The campaign would not have been possible without the support and contributions of our goodwill ambassadors: Mr. Ghaleb Farha, Mr. Fady Salameh, Mr. Albert Matta, Mr. Farid Chedid, and Mrs. Saada Fakhry. I take this opportunity to express our deep appreciation for your consistent dedication and commitment.” He added
“I believe that the long-term partnership we are signing today holds promise for similar ventures across the country and I look forward to continuing to work together to make Lebanon a safer, greener and more equitable country for its citizens and residents.” He concluded
Mr. Renda’s speech was followed by Mr. El Murr word in which he highlighted the importance of the partnership with Live Lebanon to MTV.
Mr. El Murr then continued to thanked the UNDP for its contribution in making this project possible and added “Because it is our duty as citizens to contribute to our community, we went this time beyond words and decided to take action. We wanted to be on ground and help as much as possible, in collaboration with the UNDP, by repairing the potholes found across the roads of Lebanon.”
“I hope that after our the launch of the “Ensa joura” campaign, Lebanon will witness the day in which it will forget about the shortage in both: water and electricity , and can finally forget about the slow internet connection and the bad telecom services as well as the pollution and its other unattained rights.” He concluded.
Mr. Zaiter welcomed the attendees and thanked UNDP Live Lebanon and Mr. El Murr for their initiative pointing out the importance of this partnership which will reduce the ministry’s financial load. In addition, he highlighted the significance of the contributions made by Lebanese expats whom he considered them being the main component of making Lebanon more prosperous.
He concluded his speech by saying: “Today, we are studying, discussing and launching this national campaign, this partnership which reaches out to civil matters in a period of advancement. This is one of the many opportunities for us to succeed and reach towards our future goals by being the pioneers in using such innovative approaches.”
During the ceremony, several documentaries showcased the current status of the Lebanese roads and the difficulties drivers had driving safely on it. In addition, Ensa Joura initiative was explained with detailed illustrations on how to report potholes and how the new innovative technology works on fixing it.
At the end of the ceremony, Mr. Renda and Mr. El Murr signed the strategic partnership between live Lebanon initiative and MTV.
Live Lebanon aims at encourage Lebanese expats to contribute in funding development projects in the areas most in need in Lebanon. For contributions please visit www.livelebanon.org/donate and "Live Lebanon” application on smartphones. So far the initiative has implemented 55 projects in different areas of the North, South, Bekaa, Beirut, and Mount Lebanon.