Health Minister Wael Abou Faour warned on Monday that Lebanon's air, food, and water are at risk from the ongoing waste disposal crisis, urging the state to take “immediate measures” to resolve the problem.
He said during a press conference: “Lebanon is on the verge of a health disaster because of the crisis.”
The citizens are not responsible for ending the crisis, but the government is, he declared.
“The state should take the necessary measures and officials should set aside their political calculations,” demanded Abou Faour.
“The cycle of disputes and bickering among politicians has to come to an end as we do not have the luxury of time,” he stressed.
Moreover, he remarked that the option of exporting the waste is not possible, which should prompt the cabinet to take matters into its own hands.
“All options have reached a dead-end,” he noted, while hailing the efforts of Prime Minister Tammam Salam and Environment Minister Mohammed al-Mashnouq.
“I will carry out arrangements with municipalities to manage the crisis,” he revealed.
Regarding the garbage in Beirut, he demanded that it be removed near schools, daycare centers, hospitals, and the port, where it is being dumped by a nearby flour mill.
“My proposals will be relayed to the prime minister and crisis cells will be set up to manage the problem. If we are not able to act as a complete state, we should at least work as a partial one. We should not keep the citizens' health at risk,” he stressed.
He later headed to the Grand Serail for talks with Salam.
Lebanon has been suffering from a waste disposal crisis since the closure of the Naameh landfill on July 17, with Beirut and the Mount Lebanon areas most affected.
The cabinet's failure to find an alternative landfill and various municipalities' rejection of having waste from the capital and Mount Lebanon dumped in their areas have exacerbated the crisis and led to the establishment of arbitrary landfills.
Abou Faour had previously held press conferences warning of the health dangers of the accumulating waste, which has overflowed in dumpsters.
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