Lebanon has been drowning economically for years now, and literally drowning physically every winter for the last fifty years! Despite that, every year, the responsible officials seem to be taken by surprise, and the usual blame on each other ensued while Lebanon gets flooded and the people live the consequences.
Accordingly, caretaker Minister of Public Works and Transportation Youssef Fenianos issued a public statement this past Monday, assuring that his team is at work and the road conditions will be improved.
He stated that, although some areas were outside the mandate and zones of responsibility of the Ministry of Public Works, the Ministry’s team rushed to the flooded region. He assured that it will continue to do so as Lebanon continues to witness heavy rainfall across the next few days.
In his statement, he said: “I understand the sufferings of the people, thus I have been thoroughly following up on the condition of all the roads that have been blocked as a result of the torrential rains, even in the areas that fall outside the Ministry of Works’ mandate.”
He went on to elaborate that he is ‘not shying away from his responsibility’ and that he is ready to assume full responsibility for the road situation across the country.
The Caretaker Minister insisted that “the Ministry has contacted the Public Prosecutor and placed all the flood details at its disposal so that everyone could bear his share of responsibility.”
Fenianos also reminded that the major cities of Beirut, Tripoli, and Sidon did not fall within the scope of the Ministry’s work. He reiterated the fact that Lebanon’s infrastructure had been suffering rainwater drainage problems for the last fifty years.
He also blamed the towering problem to the rapidly increasing population (although I am not sure where he was going with that).