About three months have passed since the Beirut Port exploded, and the environmental consequences of the disaster have not yet emerged
Al-Akhbar newspaper indicated that several bodies, including the World Bank, the European Union, the United Nations Development Program, other international bodies and the Lebanese Ministry of Environment, conducted surveys of the scene of the explosion and took samples from its location and surroundings, without any of them providing an environmental assessment of the disaster or determining the quantities of backfill and waste resulting. About them and other environmental impacts.
All this, and it is still unclear what caused the explosion, what materials exploded, what kind of dust or pollutants were dispersed, and how to deal with them. Also, the type and size of the debris that resulted from the explosion is not known, noting that the landfills that result from this type of disaster are not classified as ordinary, and usually contain toxic and dangerous materials, and require special management, in terms of collection methods and means of prevention, or in terms of choosing storage places and treatment methods . Also, no one explained to the associations that participated in removing the rubble and to the volunteers who worked to remove the rubble, what can be sorted and how, and whether there are materials that can be reused, manufactured or used, or how to deal with hazardous materials within an integrated plan that begins with how Sort, group, move, process or migrate. Also, the places for collecting landfills were not carefully chosen, and disputes arose over these places. Smuggling of some landfills was recorded, and randomly assigned to voluntary and non-voluntary cleaning, transportation and collection.
Although there are those who counted the number of dead and wounded, the size of the damage and compensation, the type of materials that were inhaled during and after the explosion, during the collection, transport and places of collection, and the impact of all this on public health in the short and long terms … No one understood anything from it, according to Same newspaper.
Although it is certain that landfills contain asbestos, which is used in ceilings and pipes, and that causes cancerous diseases. Reports, not yet officially published, revealed that this material was found in air samples taken from the demolished sites. Note that in the demolished homes also many other materials that are classified as hazardous, such as chemical cleaning materials, electronics, medical waste, and others. Despite all of this, no preventive measures were taken, not during mopping, cleaning and rebuilding … nor now. Experts expect that the situation will get worse with the first rains, when all those materials and suspended dust are transferred to and around it that mixes with groundwater and drinking water through the worn out pipes.
Many have complained about the almost-present Minister of Environment and the almost absent General Director of the Ministry!
The resigned Environment Minister, Damianus Kattar, has been silent since the disaster occurred, not explaining what happened and how this disaster is managed from an environmental point of view, and how it is supposed to act, define responsibilities and assume them despite the many committees that the Prime Minister has assigned to environmental issues.