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Twelve mayors and mukhtars in Nabatieh expressed Sunday their opposition to the establishment of a dump in the area of Basfour in Ansar. They urged the government, instead, to replicate an environment-friendly plant built in Nabatieh’s Kfar Sir.
They threatened to escalate their opposition by organizing popular protests to prevent the execution of the “dump decision” that was reached by the Cabinet and the Council for Development and Reconstruction (CDR).
During a meeting held by the mayors of Doueir’s Federation of Municipalities, participants called on Nabatieh governor Mahmoud Mawla, in addition to all other officials, to freeze the decision on the construction of the dump.
In a statement issued after the meeting, mayors said testing revealed that burying wastes in Lebanon was unacceptable, as it also had negative effects on the environment and the water table.
They said this process did not achieve its goal of ridding the country of waste, but aggravated the problem, adding that it was expensive and eventually required vast tracts of land.
The statement also said studies showed that there was no way to dispose of waste in a responsible way, unless one established a waste processing plant.
Participants referred to the plant built in Kfar Sir in Nabatieh, the first of its kind in Lebanon. They urged the
Cabinet to inspect it and to decide if it were possible to replicate it elsewhere.
Doueir mayors said they hoped small, modern plants could be set up, adding that municipalities cooperating with official parties would then establish them as soon as possible.
Ansar’s mayor, Mohammed Assi, dismissed the idea of the dump, saying the government closed down the quarry in Basfour in the first place because it harmed the environment.
He wondered how the government could plan to replace the quarry with a waste dump when it knows full well that a dump is more harmful.
One of Doueir’s mayors, Fouad Rammal, said establishing the dump in that area was a bad idea, as “Basfour has touristic, environmental and sports sites built around it.”
Kawthariet al-Siyyad mukhtar said: “We suffered a lot previously from the dump’s bad smell,” adding that the water table will definitely be polluted as wells supplying the town were only four kilometers away.
The Environment Ministry and CDR had previously
specified four areas to locate dumps across Lebanon: Jiyye and Hbalin in Mount-Lebanon, Srar in Akkar in the North, and most probably Basfour, in the South.