Ever since the public protests in Naameh in January 2014, the Lebanese government has been trying to secure a new location for Beirut and Mount Lebanon’s waste in order to meet their self-imposed deadline for the closure on January 2015. The deadline was extended for three months, twice, and no location was found. Since January 2014, there have been rumors of new landfills in different areas of the country, and this was met with protests all over the country. In December 2014, residents and local organizations of the southern towns of Ekleem El Kharoub protested government plans to dump the waste near them. During that same month, residents of Chouf also protested similar proposals. Continue reading
With no suitable site secured to replace the Naameh landfill after the deadline of July 17 has passed, the inevitable has finally happened; Sukleen has stopped collecting garbage from Beirut and Mount Lebanon Sunday night. Protestors and activists have set up tents and blocked the road leading to Naameh landfill and have vowed not to allow garbage trucks to dump waste in the landfill. The Minister of Environment, Mohammed Al Mashnouq, is planning to implement a short term solution to avoid waste accumulation in garbage bins. The Minister hopes to dispose the waste throughout different regions of Lebanon. It has been almost a year and half since protesters first shut the landfill, a short term plan may alleviate trash accumulation in the capital for a few weeks, however, if no long term solution is found we can expect overflowing trash bins in Beirut to become a regular occurrence.
Electricity shortage is one of the most complained about problems in Lebanon. The country currently operates seven thermal power plants generating 2038 MW, while demand is estimated at 2,500 MW. The largest thermal power plant is the one located in Zouk and was built between 1984 and 1987. It consists of four power stations that generate 607 MW, about 27% of the total electricity generated from thermal power plants in the country. Continue reading
Next week, on July 17, is the planned closure of the Naameh landfill and the end of Sukleen’s – the company in charge of municipal waste management in Beirut and Mount Lebanon – contract. Both the landfill and Sukleen’s contract were set to be terminated three months ago, but were extended because no other option was available. Continue reading