My latest op-ed on Middle East Eye is somewhat a followup to the investigative piece I wrote for Beirut Syndrome a week before. I spent more time analyzing the greater socioeconomic and political context behind the landfill, as well as the need to organize against these plans, given that the Lebanese government's 'solution' to the garbage crisis will be a series of projects, that will begin to unravel starting with the Burj Hammoud landfill (as well as the Costa Brava landfill).
Below is an excerpt:
"At the end of the civil war in 1990, a development project called LINOR saw beaches north of Beirut, once known as the “golden beaches” for their pristine water and lush sands, turned into landfills.
According to [Minister of Agriculture, Akram] Chehayeb, the Burj Hammoud landfill will be open for four years, and the local municipality will receive $25m a year in development money until it closes.
Of course, the municipality can use the annual cash injection whatever way it wants to, and it can choose to sell off the land to corporations if it wants.
Yet while overcrowded Burj Hammoud, historically an Armenian neighbourhood, but now home to Syrian refugees, migrant workers from Africa and South Asia and a small Kurdish population, could use more land for affordable housing or even public spaces, the municipality has not made even the slightest effort to see what their constituency needs.
All signs point to a solution that puts profit over people, let alone the environment."
Read the full article here.