Hello, my fellow Lebanese; it’s me, your friendly Green Patriot. I’m here to talk about yet another environmental topic that affect us all; illegal rock and sand quarries.

As most of you already know, there are hundreds of illegal quarries all over Lebanon. Such quarries lead to deforestation, desertification, and the pollution of potable water. They also destroy the beauty that is our country. Lebanon’s forests were once 35% of the land, and now they are 13%. 5.5 million square meters of our beautiful land has been destroyed by rock quarries.

Enough is enough. It is time for us to advocate for harsher laws that penalize those who try to develop rock quarries illegally, such as imprisonment or heavy fines. It is also time for legal quarries to be carried out by environmental regulations and have these regulations enforced, so as not to harm the environment. As individuals, we can discourage illegal rock quarries by refusing to do business by those who use them or those who own them. As for those of us who want to create rock quarries, we should only create them legally and in line with environmental regulations.

True to form, the owners of these rock and sand quarries are being aided and abetted by the authorities; they are dug with police and municipal complicity and corruption. That said, Minister of the Environment Mohammad Rahhal stated that he is working with Minister of the Interior Marwan Charbel to solve this problem. One can only cross their fingers and hope for the best.

Still, the beginnings of this solution start with us. Let us not wait for the political bickering to solve this problem. Let us advocate for what is ours; our country. We can do it!!