In remarks published Wednesday by the leading An-Nahar newspaper ,Public Works Minister Ghazi Zeaiter warned that the dumping of garbage near Beirut’s Rafik Hariri International Airport poses a threat to air travel safety. “
“Dumping garbage in the vicinity of the airport can adversely affect the temperature of the runway,” he said, adding that it could also attract birds “and this is very dangerous.”
Zoaiter told the daily published that he has sent memos to the ministers of interior, defense and environment to inform them about the dangers of dumping garbage in the airport’s vicinity.
Waste collector Sukleen and the municipalities of Beirut’s southern suburbs and Shouaifat have been dumping garbage near the airport’s fence.
Zoaiter has held the three ministries responsible for the safety of the flights .
The former general manager of Civil Aviation, Hamdi Shawqi, also told An Nahar that the waste being dumped near the airport would reach levels higher than the elevation of the tarmac.
The garbage also changes the temperatures near the runway. “Airplanes are directly influenced by the temperature ,” he warned.
The dumping of the waste began when the landfill in the town of Naameh south of Beirut was shut down on July 17.
Since then, mountains of garbage piled up in Beirut and Mount Lebanon.
The government so far failed to resolve the crisis.
The piles of garbage serve as an uncomfortable reminder of a larger Lebanese political failure. The country has for many years faced nationwide infrastructure problems, including water shortage and daily electricity cuts.
“We have come to realize that a mafia is controlling Lebanon and its funds”, Phalange party leader MP Sami Gemayel said after party’s weekly meeting on Monday.
He was commenting on the stinking garbage in Lebanon
“We do not understand the delay in resolving the waste disposal crisis” he said
“Shame on all those who are blackmailing a company or party at the expense of the people for the sake of making money and personal gains, “he said without naming the politicians behind the crisis.