Monthly Archives: June 2015

Private mall sets an example to counter Lebanon’s electricity woes

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Source: Blog Baladi

The dire situation of the Lebanese electricity sector is no secret. Power generation and distribution has been a financial burden on the government and citizens for decades and has paved the way for a lucrative black market. The Lebanese electricity company, Electricité Du Liban (EDL), has been operating on a deficit and has cost the government over $ US 20 billion, over 50% of the country’s GDP, between 1992 and 2014. Despite that, the sector still suffers from nation-wide electricity rationing ranging from 3-hour a day cuts in the capital Beirut to over 12 hour cuts on a daily basis in other areas. Connecting to a private generator costs a household up to $100 per 5 amperes per month, approximately 22% of minimum wage. The government has tried to regulate private generator fees by limiting them to 400 LBP per hour for 5 amperes. Such policies have been met with resistance by generator owners and has lead to little progress. Continue reading

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Lebanon’s environmental activists tackle its myriad of environmental problems

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Source: Saida Al Youm

This week, a beach cleaning campaign was launched targeting Al Zira, a small island off the coast of Sidon. The campaign was initiated by the newly formed organization “Friends of Al Zira and Sidon’s Beach”. The first stage of campaign consists of cleaning the trash, fixing umbrellas, distributing waste containers and marking a swimming zone (boat free area). The later stages will include more permanent fixtures such as hiring a staff to maintain the beach, build restrooms and changing rooms and fix the island’s infrastructure. Sidon has recently witnessed several environmental projects; last month a series of initiatives took place to make Sidon an environmentally-friendly city by 2020. Continue reading

More dams for Lebanon

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Source: Lebanon Tours

The current political crisis in Lebanon has crippled the parliament, which has failed to convene in over a year. This has affected the whole country, but particularly the public sector. Among the outstanding issues that need to be discussed and ratified by the parliament, is a dam project located in the town of Bisri in South Lebanon. The dam will be funded by a $474 million loan from the World Bank, the largest loan the World Bank has ever given to Lebanon. In addition to the World Bank loan, the Islamic Development Bank will fund $128 Million and the Lebanese government will invest $15 million. If not approved, the project will expire and Lebanon will lose the secured funds for the project. Continue reading