BEIRUT: Agriculture Minister Akram Chehayeb said Wednesday it was unfortunate that work has been halted at the Burj Hammoud landfill, urging the town’s people to withstand and make sacrifices for the dump to be built.
His remarks came as more Kataeb Party supporters headed to the site in east Beirut demanding an end to the dump’s construction, according to Voice of Lebanon radio (100.5).
Protesters complained that despite the government saying the landfill would be sanitary, trash was being dumped without being recycled.
Kataeb MP Elie Marouni said his party wanted efficient solutions to the crisis.
"We don't want trash returning to the streets, but we also don't want people ending up in hospitals or having to leave their homes," he told Al-Jadeed from the site of the protest.
Many people who lived in villages surrounding the notorious Naameh landfill, southeast of Beirut, had left their homes during its 17 years of operation.
Following a meeting with former Lebanese President Michel Sleiman, Chehayeb said that the government’s trash deal was not ideal, but that it is the best solution for the time being.
He was referring to a deal reached in March, when the government claimed it had resolved the eight-month garbage pile-up on the streets of Beirut and Mount Lebanon.
Trash is now being taken to storage lots in Costa Brava, south of Beirut, and to Burj Hammoud, to the capital's east, where new landfills are being built.
Chehayeb called on Burj Hammoud residents to make sacrifices similar to those made by the people of Naameh.
Controversy has surrounded the construction of the government-mandated Burj Hammoud landfill, with Kataeb Party supporters bringing work to a halt on at least four occasions in recent weeks.
On Wednesday, more Kataeb supporters headed to the landfill after receiving news that police were intending to remove a tent they had erected a day earlier at the site.
The Kataeb youth have not staged any protests to stop work at the Costa Brava landfill, which is located near majority Druze and Muslim towns.
In recent months, Kataeb has expressed fears that the Burj Hammoud site would also impact the LINOR Project, which seeks to develop green spaces, gardens and coffee shops for the public between the Beirut Port and Marina Dbayyeh.
Source & Link : The Daily Star