The Lebanese Center for Human Rights (CLDH) is a local non-profit, non-partisan Lebanese human rights organization in Beirut that was established by the Franco-Lebanese Movement SOLIDA (Support for Lebanese Detained Arbitrarily) in 2006. SOLIDA has been active since 1996 in the struggle against arbitrary detention, enforced disappearance and the impunity of those perpetrating gross human violations.

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September 27, 2015

The Daily Star - Protesters reject reopening of Naameh landfill, September 27, 2015

Tens of people gathered at the entrance of the infamous Naameh landfill Sunday evening, in protest over Agriculture Minister Akram Chehayeb’s waste plan, the same day the Union of the Municipalities of Gharb al-Aala and Shahhar earlier announced their approval for the temporary reopening of the landfill.

Protestors and activists from civil society groups held signs slamming the decision, rejecting landfills to be opened in the country all together.

“This political class is completely corrupt and it wants to poison us... This land is ours, and we will not let them open this landfill again,” a protester said.

Assad Thebian, a co-founder in the You Stink campaign, said that the government did not take into account any suggestions made by activists.

He said that Chehayeb’s plan was happening based on how they (the government) wanted to implement it, and called on the minister to amend the plan and create one that takes care of people’s health and the environment.

“They had months to sort this problem out before the crisis even started, and now they’re trying to force this plan on to us,” Thebian said.

He added that a demand from the civil society groups was for the government to force people to recycle from the source, rather than move the trash to Naameh then to other landfills.

An activist at the protest said that people had brought with them tents to set up at the entrance and stay overnight, in the case any trucks loaded with trash attempted to enter the landfill.

Paul Abi Rached, head of Lebanon's Eco Movement, said that the government must find a solution that will end the crisis once and for all, however one that does not affect people's lives, but rather one that is "environmentally, socially and economically friendly."

He said that the activists will announe Monday at 1 p.m. an alternative plan to Chehayeb's.

The waste plan was announced by Chehayeb earlier this month following an extraordinary Cabinet session devoted to ending the two month garbage crisis. It called for establishing sanitary landfills in Srar in the northern district of Akkar and the Masnaa border area, reopening the Naameh landfill for seven days, and supporting robust waste recycling initiatives.

Chehayeb had said that he was taking into account all environmental risks and is listening to all suggestions, however there was currently no alternative solution.

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