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danni ambiente in Libano per la guerra
Ciao segnalo un articolo sullo stato dell'ambiente danneggiato dalla guerra in atto in
Libano. E' l'articolo di un attivista di greenpeace che vive a beirut:
Fonte : http://beirutupdate.blogspot.com/
War in Lebanon Brings About the Biggest Environmental Catastrophe in the History of the
15,000 ton Oil Spill from Jiyyeh Power Plant Hits Most of the Lebanese Coast
By Wael Hmaidan
Beirut, July 27, 2006 - The escalating Israeli attack on Lebanon did not only kill its
civilians and destroy its infrastructure, but it is also annihilating its environment.
Last week a 15,000 ton oil spill resulted from the Israeli air raid on the Jiyyeh power
plant South of Lebanon. The power plant has 6 fuel tanks. Four of them have burned
completely, while the fifth one, which is also the main cause of the spill, is still
burning. The Lebanese ministry of environment is worried that the sixth tank, which is
underground and so far intact, is going to explode and increase the magnitude of the
The oil slick appeared for the first time last week on the once beautiful beach of Ramlet
El-Beida in Beirut, which is (or now used to be) the only public beach that Beiruties can
enjoy in the Lebanese capital. Upon this finding, several environmental activists alerted
the media on the spill, which in turn has mobilized the municipality of Beirut and the
Ministry of Environment. After a few days of investigation it became obvious that more
than 100km of the Lebanese coast, from Jiyyeh in the South to Chekka in the North has
been hit by this oil spill.
Lebanese environmental NGOs have labeled the spill as the worst environmental crisis in
Lebanon?s history. Just for the sake of comparison, in 2003 a 50 ton oil spill in the
North by a cement company was a huge blow to the Lebanese coastal environment, and
required a years clean up effort. The current spill is 300 times bigger, and there is a
big possibility that more oil will go into the sea.
This spill will have a huge negative impact on the Mediterranean marine environment. The
Lebanese coast is a very important site for fish spawning and sea turtle nesting,
including the green turtle, which is an endangered species in the Mediterranean.
During the month of July, turtle eggs start to hatch and all baby turtles will need to
reach deep waters as fast as possible. With the oil slick in their way baby turtles will
have no chance of making it. Also, Blue Fin Tuna, which is a very important commercial
species in the Mediterranean and which has been under severe stress from over-fishing,
are present in the Eastern Mediterranean coastal water in this period of the year. The
oil spill, of which part of it has settled on the sea floor, will threaten the blue fin
tuna and other fish species spawning areas.
Another important impact of the spill is the effect on tourism in the future. The
Lebanese coast is an important tourist destination, and after the war ends, Lebanon will
need every source of income to rebuild its infrastructure. Now the beautiful Lebanese
white beaches are covered with a black layer and the smell of fuel can be smelled a good
distance in land, rendering them toxic and useless.
According to media and the Ministry of Environment said that this oil spill is bigger
than what the local authority can handle and urgent help is needed from outside. The
Ministry of Environment has organized a team to follow on this issue, and have requested
help from the United Nations Environmental Program and the Regional Marine Pollution
Emergency Response Center for the Mediterranean (REMPEC). The Kuwaiti Environment
Authority has responded to the Lebanese government call and promised to send equipment
and expertise to help in the clean up. Nevertheless, the constant Israeli air raids will
make the clean up operation very difficult. Last week Israel targeted ambulances and aid
trucks coming into the country. There is no guarantee that Israel will not target any
equipment that approaches the beach, and clean up efforts might not be in place until a
cease fire has been reached.
This spill will not be the only environmental impact of the attack on Lebanon. Other
impacts include air pollution and chemical spills due to the targeting of industrial
factories, fuel bunkers, and other flammable structures; the use of depleted uranium in
Israeli bombs, and the huge waste and sanitary crisis resulting from the 750,000 refugees
in Lebanon, which can lead to water pollution and the spread of diseases. A full
assessment of the environmental impact of this war can only happen after the conflict is
over and Lebanon should work with the international community on this issue.
Wael Hmaidan was the Greenpeace Campaigner for the Arab World for the past three years.
Currently he is an environmental activist and environmental policy advisor for Lebanese
and regional NGOs.
Contact information: Wael Hmaidan, mobile: +961-3-506313, email:
whmaidan at care2.com