Category Archives: Lebanon

Lebanon has a history of failures to tackle the issue of waste

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Source: The Daily Star

The trash crisis in Lebanon has been temporarily resolved after a cabinet-approved decision to reopen Na’ameh for 2 months and establish landfills in two other sites for a period of 4 years. However, there is little hope that a long term sustainable solution will ever be realized under the current political conditions in the country. The problem can be traced as far back as the mid-1990s, when the World Bank offered Lebanon a loan to undergo post-war reconstruction efforts for its infrastructure. Part of the funding was intended to solve the country’s solid waste problem. In 2007, the World Bank tasked an independent evaluator to assess the project. Here are the evaluator’s findings:

“The Solid Waste Project’s objective to provide solid waste collection and treatment facilities for the whole country was overly ambitious. Although this objective was in line with Government’s initial strategy, project design was only modestly relevant because it failed to take account of Lebanon’s inexperience in solid waste management, lack of subsector capacity at the end of the civil war, and local political opposition to solid waste facilities and landfill sites. Its implementation was particularly fraught because of unmitigated social resistance and government’s changes in sector strategy that led to the withdrawal of Japanese co-financing and the restructuring of the project in 2001. At completion, only one of the 15 sanitary landfills planned was completed [the one in Zahle]. The project almost totally failed to achieve its objectives, and its outcome is rated as unsatisfactory.” Continue reading

Where will Beirut’s waste be dumped after July 17?

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Source: The Daily Star

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

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

The land of pollution

Waste in India : garbage, mostly plastic waste, on beach near Mumbai

Source: An Nahar

Pollution is widespread in Lebanon and not enough seems to be done to tackle it. In the past two weeks residents protested exposure to pollution from a power plant and landfill. Over the past year, this blog wrote about many pollution incidents such river and sea pollution. Many more incidents can be found on local media. Despite several efforts made by the government and donor agencies to tackle this problem, there has been little news of anyone being held accountable. Continue reading