Women harvest cabbage crops in a field in the southern village of Wazzani, Saturday, March 15, 2014. (The Daily Star/Mohammed Zaatari)
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The recent drought brought on by a lack of rain and snow has taken a significant toll on the flora and fauna in Lebanon, but it is unlikely to last and is only part of a natural cycle that occurs every few decades, experts say.Agriculture Minister Akram Chehayeb said last week that the rainfall was only a third of the annual average.Nabil Nemer, head of the Agricultural Sciences Department at the Holy Spirit University in Kaslik, also stressed that Lebanon had gone through a similar period of drought before, and, like his counterparts, said it was all part of a natural cycle.Nevertheless, "the consequences are negative," Nemer added. He said Lebanon needed "five or six" more weeks of rain and snowfall similar to last week. If the drought persists, it may even eventually threaten fish, Abi Said added.Hot, dry and sand-filled winds contributed to a number of fires across Lebanon earlier this month.But while experts said they did not have particular concerns over this year's drought and any long-term effects, they cautioned that this would not be the case if the drought dragged on.
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