Lebanon News

Lebanon PM orders ultrasonic bird repellers near airport

A picture taken on March 30, 2016 from the Lebanese village of Baawerta shows the Beirut International Airport and the Lebanese capital. AFP / PATRICK BAZ

BEIRUT: Prime Minister Saad Hariri Wednesday ordered additional ultrasonic bird repellers to be installed near Beirut's international airport.

Youssef Fenianos, the Public Works Minister, announced the decision after meeting with Hariri following a Cabinet session at the Grand Serail.

"The problem, which disturbs air traffic, will be resolved," the minister said.

Fenianos had met with Hariri on the sidelines of the Cabinet meeting.

The decision comes after Progressive Socialist Party leader MP Walid Jumblatt warned in a tweet that the "dump near Beirut's [Rafik Hariri International] airport should be moved to avert a crisis."

Since the construction of the new landfill, attention has been drawn to the risks it may pose to flights due to the elevation of the trash pile. It has been reported that the garbage could also alter climate near the runway.

Baabda district Judge of Urgent Matters Hasan Hamdan issued a verdict to suspend moving trash into the Costa Brava landfill until the matter was resolved, local media reported.

Judge Hamdan in December tasked Lebanon’s Civil Aviation Authority, the Agriculture Ministry and the Environment Ministry with carrying out a scientific study on the impact of the ongoing construction at Costa Brava landfill on flight safety and environment.

In September, activists filed a lawsuit against the Lebanese state and two private companies, calling for a halt to the construction of the Costa Brava and Burj Hammoud landfills.

Following the nationwide garbage crisis, Cabinet of Prime Minister Tammam Salam agreed in March to a temporary solution. The plan called for the reopening of the Naameh landfill for two months in order to receive decomposing piles of waste in Beirut and Mount Lebanon. The government-approved plan also included construction of the two landfills.

Waste is currently being held in storage lots near the two landfill sites pending their completion. Pictures of trash flooding the streets of the district of Nabatieh were reported last month, with a waste plant said to be improperly functioning.

The temporary solution approved by Cabinet is supposed to be in force for four years, giving the government ample time to develop a long-term solution to the nation’s waste issues.





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