In Nabatieh and the surrounding villages, the garbage crisis has reached a scary and unbearable level.
Waste fills up the streets and sidewalks, the stinking smell makes daily life intolerable, and the fuming toxic risks causing respiratory and health problems, especially for the children as the residents have been complaining.
A resident in Nabatieh even complained about seeing medical waste in the street from a hospital next to his home. The residents are fearing that the garbage will leak into the water supply and they have been calling for the authorities to deal with this urgent matter.
People living in these affected villages had notified their respective municipalities that responded by blaming the issue on the closure of most of the landfills in the areas.
Whatever or whoever is to blame shouldn’t matter at this point. Prompt action to solve that hazardous issue is what matters.
The garbage crisis in Lebanon has been a problem for several years now. It received the spotlight after the major crisis in 2015 that triggered a massive protest under the YouStink banner in central Beirut.
Many people claim that the garbage crisis is the precursor to today’s October 17 revolution. They see it as the epitome of the Lebanese government’s incompetence and corruption.
The issue is believed to stem from the fact that the companies contracted to dispose of the garbage have gotten into a conflict with the government, resulting in the trash that has not yet been properly disposed of.
The crisis in 2015 rendered all of Lebanon a dump. Garbage was scattered all around the sides of the streets and piling up shamefully and dangerously. When winter came, a river of garbage flooded the streets.
Moreover, ruling politicians relocated the critical problem to the coast by building two new landfills, which flumped our Mediterranean Sea into a deeper state of pollution.
For a time, you weren’t able to even walk in Beirut, especially in the Bourj Hammoud and Daoura area, without smelling the toxic fumes that stem from the trash.
This is not to mention the fact that Lebanon still doesn’t have a system in place designed to sort trash, and the Lebanese people have been complaining for more than five years now.
As we are now seeing, the trash crisis is not limited to Beirut but it’s encompassing the entire country. In Tripoli, for example, the Abou Ali River is infamously polluted with trash because of the construction of landfills in close proximity.
It’s also due to the fact that much of the trash from the vegetable market that was once there was dumped directly into the river.