Anwar Yassin
The dumpsite in Bourj Hammoud still endures, spreads its smell and scatters its harmful effects over a wide area, in which tens of thousands of Lebanese and non-Lebanese live.
It seems that the problem will continue for long, as long as there is solution to be implemented, including that of a plan, which states on dealing with a large part of the problem, through establishing a factory for waste management, by using modern methods near the Bourj Hammoud dumpsite, and converting a part of it into a public garden for residents in the region. This plan, which received a USD 40 million funding from the European Union, and which is present at the cabinet, collided with a strong opposition from Metn MPs, for unclear reasons. We contacted some of them to understand these reasons, and the following interview took place with the region’s deputy Hagop Pakradounian, and the Deputy Mayor George Krikorian.
MP Pakradounian described the project of the waste mountain’s removal as “just an inoculum”, and he reported to GREENAREA “We rejected a project that brings us the dirt of others.” He then added, that the plan “is a great project, but it is not applicable in Lebanon, because its requirements are not available here, and most importantly the presence of electricity, since its disruption for just four hours leads to the sinking of the area in sewage.” Pakradounian added that “there is no major project from the State to remove the waste mountain, and I have spoken with Fuad Siniora, when he was Prime Minister, and he told me: “Bring me USD 20 million and I will remove it.”  The answer back then, was that this is the responsibility of the state, and how will this amount be available with me?! “
Krikorian, however, considered that the outcome will be more destruction of the marine environment, as he stated to GREENAREA: “As a Municipality and MPs, we opposed the integrated package, which is binding in all of its elements to the project, but we did not oppose the project of removing the Waste Mountain in itself.”
He added “The project was proposed as a complete package, and we have expressed our opposition over the binding side projects, and the lack of any serious study regarding them, whether environmental or economic, and if it was stated that these studies exist, why aren’t they highlighted ..? What is required is a clear and transparent approach of the waste mountain, and not throwing it in the sea, and destroying an additional part of the natural resources on the coast. “

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