Lebanese minister advises against 'swallowing mosquitoes' swarming coastal areas

Lebanese minister advises against 'swallowing mosquitoes' swarming coastal areas
2 min read
10 Apr, 2016
Lebanon’s environment minister Mohamad Machnouk went on a blocking frenzy after advice he tweeted was met with much cynicism by the Lebanese twitterati.
mosquitoes swarm Lebanon's coastal areas amid rising temperatures and piling waste [Facebook]
A swarm of mosquitoes sweeping through the Lebanese capital amid rising temperatures and feasting on piles of waste proved a subject of much ire between citizens and government officials.

As the Lebanese took to social media to vent fury at the health crisis and the lack of government resolve to clear the mountains of waste their anger was soon exasperated by a minister's response.

Mohamad Machnouk, Lebanon's Environment minister, took to social media on Saturday to give citizens much needed advice about the swarm.

"Rising heat levels have led to an increase in mosquitoes across coastal areas and amid scattered waves, we advise the prevention of [accidental] ingestion and inhalation of mosquitoes," Mohamad Machnouk tweeted.

His tweet, which was later deleted, proved a source of ridicule amid a solemn political reality.

A flurry of replies to the minister that the mosquito crisis was due to the piling mounds of waste and not high temperatures proved too far for the minister who responded by blocking users.

Users who responded were immediately blocked by the minister.

"I told him the problem is from the garbage not the heat so he blocked me," one user tweeted.

"I congratulate Machnouck on his speed to press the block button. It seems at least 50 or 60 activists were blocked by him today," another tweeted.

"It appears that everyone against the swallowing of mosquitoes got blocked!" a user noted.

Meanwhile, users across the capital shared on social media pictures of the mosquitoes and mosquito bites on their bodies.

Lebanon's eight-month garbage crises saw the piling of giant mounds of waste across the country as an ineffective government apparatus was unable to resolve internal differences concerning provision of state services.

The crises led to both anger and ridicule by Lebanese and culminated in social media outbursts and the #YouStink hashtag and protests, demanding Machnouk resign at the time.