3 Hurt as Residents Clash with Srar Garbage Dump Employeesإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
Three people were injured Sunday in a clash between residents and employees of the controversial Srar garbage dump in the northern district of Akkar.
State-run National News Agency identified the wounded as Osama Raad, Abdul Karim al-Mill and Ahmed Fadel.
It said the confrontation involved residents and bulldozer drivers.
“The residents have urged security forces to intervene,” the agency added.
Meanwhile, the Akkar is Not a Dump campaign said on its Facebook page that “the thugs of Khaldoun al-Yassine al-Merehbi opened fire from their assault rifles at residents who sought to prevent the bulldozers from carrying on with excavation works.”
It also said that residents from the area blocked the al-Abboudiyeh road “in protest at the acts of thuggery that are being committed by Khaldoun al-Yassine al-Merehbi and his thugs.”
The campaign noted that “residents are still being targeted by gunfire.”
An emergency waste management plan devised by Agriculture Minister Akram Shehayyeb and a team of experts envisages turning an existing garbage dump in the Srar area into a so-called “sanitary landfill” capable of receiving trash from areas across Lebanon.
It also calls for reopening the Naameh landfill, which was closed in mid-July, for seven days to dump the garbage that accumulated in random sites in Beirut and Mount Lebanon.
The plan also includes setting up a “sanitary landfill” in the Bekaa region.
After he announced his plan last month, civil society activists and local residents of Akkar, Naameh, Majdal Anjar, and Bourj Hammoud protested against the step, citing perceived environmental and health hazards.
Experts have urged the government to devise a comprehensive waste management solution that would include more recycling and composting to reduce the amount of trash going into landfills.
Environmentalists fear the crisis could soon degenerate to the point where garbage as well as sewage will simply overflow into the sea from riverbeds as winter rains return.
The health ministry has warned that garbage scattered by seasonal winds could also block Lebanon's drainage system.
The trash crisis has sparked angry protests that initially focused on waste management but grew to encompass frustrations with water and electricity shortages and Lebanon's chronically divided political class.
Campaigns like "You Stink" brought tens of thousands of people into the streets in unprecedented non-partisan and non-sectarian demonstrations against the entire political class.