Hello, Lebanon. It’s me, your friendly Green Patriot. Have any of you ever driven around Nahr-el Mout or Ain el-Saadeh, or anywhere near our country’s factories? My best guess is that we all try to avoid it. Here’s why.

 

None of our industrial waste is treated. Yes, that’s right. While the picture shows some of it being taken away, you know just as well as I do that a lot of it just stays there. The waste seeps into our groundwater, our soil, and into our air without barriers. Much of this waste is toxic. It turns our air brown, and the smell is wretched. We inhale that air. The long-term exposure we have to this environment leads to  cancer, respiratory problems, cardiovascular disease, headaches, low birth weight, congenital malformations, skin rash, musculoskeletal problems, infertility, and psychiatric disorders. This is a recipe for disaster, Lebanon.

So what are we to do? We have nothing, right?

Wrong. We have industrial waste plants. However, they are not operational. We need to advocate for these plants to become operational as soon as humanly possible. Look at what we are living in!

Aside from advocating for opening these waste management plants, we need to advocate for laws and agencies that enforce methods of pollution control around our industrial sites. Rehabilitating these existing sites will take time, and effort. In some ways it seems idealistic to think that these issues can be solved, but what is the alternative? Live in our own filth and get sick? Allow our environment to be degraded in this fashion? Look at these areas!!!

 

 

 Do we want to continue living like this? Are we going to continue to turn a blind eye to what makes us sick, to what harms our environment, to what is slowly but surely turning our country, once called the “Paris of the Middle East” and “Lebanon the Green” into a garbage dump?! We must start somewhere. We can do it, Lebanon!!!

 

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