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'Talking rubbish': Lebanon's environment minister glosses over trash crisis

Piles of rubbish have been piling up all over Lebanon, causing disease and social unrest

Date of publication: 17 September, 2016

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Lebanon's Environment Minister Mohammed Machnouk is facing a wave of criticism after writing a self-congratulatory article on the country's ongoing rubbish crisis.

Lebanon's environment minister has come under criticism after claiming that a mountain of trash caused by the country's ongoing crisis has been transformed into a green paradise.

However, although Mohammad Machnouk mentioned that one trash pile has been transformed into a "green garden" in an article, he failed to mention the other piles of rubbish that are festering across the country.

Machnouk penned a post for Lebanon Files, and praised a public park built on top of a pile of rubbish in Sidon, south Lebanon.

Others were quick to point out the various other piles of rubbish that his ministry have neglected.

"In April 2016, Lebanon built a 35,000 m2 public park in the old city of Sidon, containing more than 10,000 trees and shrubs, as well as recreational areas, and an outdoor theatre," Machnouk claimed.

Najib Mitri, a blogger from Blog Baladi, wrote that the environment ministry was a "complete waste of money" and expressed frustration at what he called Mashnouk's "tangled web of lies".


Lebanon suffered an ongoing problem of growing rubbish tips throughout the country, as the government fails to find ways to dispose of the country's refuse.

Plans on exporting trash to other countries have failed.

In 2015, public anger about the growing public health hazard exploded in a series of angry street protests backed by the "You Stink" campaign, a movement to expose government corruption and police violence.
A Facebook video from the 'You Stink' campaign, showing piles of rubbish being burnt in the streets

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