08 Oct 2013
UNDP Lebanon - Media gathered to listen to the process of rehabilitating the dumpsite
The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in collaboration with the Ministry of Environment and the Municipality of Saida organized a media field visit to the rehabilitation project of the garbage dump on the maritime boulevard of Saida on Thursday the 3rd of October 2013 at 10 am.
The aim of this visit is to monitor the process of the rehabilitation of the dump site in the presence of the UN Resident Representative Mr. Robert Watkins, as well as the representative of Municipality of Saida Mr. Ibrahim Al Bsat and the Representative of the Ministry of Environment Bassam Sabbagh. The Saida Dump project is funded by the Lebanese Government and implemented through the Ministry of Environment and UNDP.
The first part of the media Field visit includes visiting the four sites where the rehabilitation process is taking place. Mr. Edgard Chehab, Assistant Resident Representative of the UNDP explained each phase of the process: the first phase is the degasification that takes place in specialized small plant provided with filters and pumps to extract the gas from the dump to be stored in tanks filled by active carbon. The 2nd phase is the sorting facility where the waste is separated into different elements: the heavy portion of waste (rocks) and the light waste (plastic and paper). The 3rd phase is the laboratory where French scientists analyses samples of waste to differentiate organic waste from non-organic waste. The final phase is the sanitary landfilling: site for the disposal of organic waste materials by burial: textile sheets geo membranes and geo-composites are covering the ground to protect the leachate to reach the underground and the sea.
After the site visit, questions and answers took place at Saida Municipality. The UN Resident Representative Mr. Robert Watkins delivered a speech focusing on the aim of the field visit and the end result “to eliminate the mountain of shame and transform it into a green space open to the public, and to make progress on a very deeply rooted issue.
The Preliminary work of the project began two months ago and the purpose of the visit is to monitor the transformation of the dumpsite into a recreational park and a sanitary Landfill. Mr. Chehab, Assistant Resident Representative of the UNDP, mentioned that “Saida dumpsite contains approximately 1.5 million m³ of waste and covers a surface of approximately 6 hectares and after sending samples taken from the site to France, the analysis revealed that The Dump Site contains approximately 50-60.” rresources that can be used as landfills and are not contaminated”
Saida Dumpsite has been in use since 1982 and it has been getting wider since then. Today it is considered as a source of concern because of health hazards and environmental risks that it has been causing in addition to the fact that thorough the recent past years it was the main factor for fires and lead to great damages in the development of the city.