Gemayel: Sukleen Taking Lebanon Hostage, it is Time for Popular Accountabilityإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
Kataeb party leader MP Sami Gemayel stressed on Wednesday that the time has come for popular accountability against the dump collecting company Sukleen “which has been taking Lebanon hostage for over 20 years.”
“The contract of Sukleen was extended several times since the last tender in the 1990s until today. It is time for popular accountability for a company that has been taking Lebanon hostage for over 20 years,” said Gemayel in a press conference on the waste management crisis.
The government signed a contract with Sukleen in 1994 for collecting and transporting the garbage in Beirut and Mount Lebanon. The contract has been extended several times since for lack of any substitute.
“We have seen waste spreading all over the streets only when the contract of that company ended, which proves the existence of a scheme to keep the situation as it has and to keep the systematic theft of municipal funds,” he added.
“Fees for the company are directly deducted from the revenues of the municipalities and without the latter's permission.”
“There is a mafia taking advantage of the waste file and making profits at the expense of the Lebanese. Sukleen saw it better to drown the citizens in waste in order to use it as a pressure card on the government to extend its contract,” said Gemayel angrily.
He assured that the state must “find places to dump the waste that should be sorted beforehand for easy recycling.”
Emphasizing that the current means of dumping waste material contaminate the groundwater and air, he stated: “We cannot keep doing the same thing for another 20 years.”
“We are trying to improve the letter of conditions to attract new companies. We have also asked the state to purchase landfill locations, to specify the rate at which they should be filled and to directly supervise the work of those companies.”
Beirut and Mount Lebanon were plunged in a waste disposal crisis following the closure of the Naameh landfill last week in accordance with a government decision.
The closure caused trash to spill out of dumpsters after Sukleen failed to dispose of waste following the landfill's closure.
It said it can no longer fill up its premises with accumulated trash.