Protesters March in Beirut to Remind Gov't of Trash Crisis

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – protesters from the We Want Accountability group marched from the Health Ministry in Beirut's Mathaf area to the Environment Ministry in the capital's central district to renew calls for an end to the ongoing trash crisis.

Protesters March in Beirut to Remind Gov't of Trash Crisis

"We want them (politicians) to feel with us," Hani Fayyad, a member of the group, told MTV as the march on Saturday night was getting underway, The Daily Star reported on Sunday.

He called on officials to "assume their responsibilities," saying the health consequences of the crisis which exploded in mid-July are beginning to surface. "The people are in despair."

The march came shortly after Agriculture Minister Akram Chehayeb cited "significant progress" in the nearly five-month-long trash crisis in comments to Al-Liwaa.

He revealed that a series of meetings was taking place to deal with the issue and that the results will be presented at a Cabinet meeting.

Beirut and Mount Lebanon have lived a chronic environmental crisis for over four months after the Naameh landfill was closed by the government on July 17, resulting in the piling of tons of trash in random locations.

Most municipalities have placed the garbage in temporary, hazardous locations, waiting for a government solution to end the crisis.

However, people and municipalities began burning trash, in particular in north Beirut, causing major health risks.

A report issued by the Air Quality Associated Research Unit in Lebanon has called the current garbage crisis a “state of emergency” after finding a staggering increase in atmospheric toxic levels.

A research team showed that the rate of atmospheric carcinogens that cause cancer has increased 416 fold since last year as a result of trash burning.

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