Beirut River turned into a landfill (Reuters/Mohamed Azakir)
Why is everyone warning us about the first rains? What will happen when it rains with all this garbage around? The truth is Lebanon will be facing a very serious health crisis if the garbage is not removed in time. I’ve been meaning to write about this topic for two days now but I don’t know much about it so I asked a friend who’s an environmentalist to help out and I spotted yesterday a very useful article on eTobb.com on the results of this garbage crisis on our overall health.
Wet Garbage = Water Pollution
So what exactly happens when it starts to rain? Heavy rainstorms will “cause the garbage to disintegrate into the soil reaching underground water reserves such as natural wells and fossil water (non-renewable)”, which means that diluted garbage would “sink into the soil, spreading downwards and outwards in a characteristic brush-stroke shape known as a plume, contaminating soil and water as it moved”.
As far as the Beirut River is concerned, here’s what eTobb had to say:
In addition to that, recently circulated images of Nahr Beirut show immense quantities of garbage blocking the path of the scarcely flowing river (in summer alone). The latter river is known to absorb and take in large amounts of rainfall every year, sometimes overflowing naturally due to weather changes; and now that we know that Nahr Beirut is completely blocked by piles and piles of stinking, harmful and poisonous garbage, only one destiny is bound to this year’s first rainfall with those piles of garbage which will definitely overflow, sending trash all over the roads and residential neighborhoods, down the water sewers and into the ground which will increase the risk of dangerous diseases, mutated insects, polluted water, air and vegetation and on the long run, we can expect plagues similar to those humanity witnessed during the major wars due to uncontrolled numbers of rats roaming the streets on a garbage feeding frenzy. Last but not least, let’s not forget how many hot and humid days have passed while the garbage was left out on the streets, fermenting, rotting, decomposing and vaporizing into the atmosphere, bringing a new threat our way, a threat that will affect each and every once of us, Acid Rain.
In addition to that:
– Landfills contaminate the air that we are breathing with various toxic substances.
– Contaminated water could lead to the widespread of several diseases such as Cholera, Typhoid, Dysentery and Dengue Fever. Add to that typhoid fever, food poisoning, gastroenteritis, and enteric fever.
– Populations exposed to untreated chemicals witness an increase in cancer rates.
The garbage crisis has been ongoing for 3 months now and the Lebanese authorities are still wasting their time on organizing national dialogue sessions instead of forming an emergency committee, encouraging people to recycle, reducing waste and trying to figure out solutions.
Worse than WWIII ,which is at thr doors
This is what you get from your support to these militias and warlords who you have made your slavers. Join the demonstration and let the revolution begin. No electricity no water no security no one give a shit if you die or not. It is time they go and return the 70 billion dollars back.
Everyone is still talking about recycling, but what about the waste you talked about that is on the streets, and in our rivers? And please please please understand that there is a BIG DIFFERENCE between “SANITARY LANDFILLS” and “DUMPSITES”. The only solution for the accumulating waste is to landfill them in a sanitary manner; one can argue that they can still be sorted, well if they do find a way to sort them and reduce them before landfilling them that would be great, but that’s HIGHLY IMPOSSIBLE, given that, and again like you mentioned this waste has been dissolving and fermenting in our soil for the past 2 months and that no recyclable can be saved!!!! so please people we need to understand that there need to be immediate solutions for the current waste on our streets and recycling is a next step for the waste that has not yet accumulated, and it’s a whole culture!!!!
The garbage was being dumped in landfills and in the sea long before the problem of picking it up came up, the only difference is that now we realise that we, the Lebanese have been acting recklessly. the garbage will not cause any more harm after the rain than it did for the past 50 years, and please do not blame anyone else than yourselves for the behaviours of those you voted for regardless of their political programs and achievements.
tol3it ri7etkoun byaamlo eltihabet