Hasbani Presents Shocking Figures and Rings the Alarm Bell: Stop Waste Burning
Deputy Prime Minister Health Minister Ghassan Hasbani sounded the alarm bell in terms of the risks and impacts of waste burning during a joint conference held with the Deputy Director at Human Rights Watch in Beirut Lama Fakih. Hasbani called on the Cabinet to take immediate and firm decisions regarding the implementation of a plan for waste treatment.
“We all know or at least estimate that the particles released in the air from waste burning leave a negative impact on public health,” Hasbani added.
According to Health Ministry figures, the number of patients that receive cancer treatment at the cost of the ministry reached more than 6000 patients, and it is not surprising that lung and “colon” cancers are two of the five most widespread types of cancer in Lebanon.
Hasbani called on the Cabinet to take immediate decisions regarding the implementation of the plan for waste treatment that consists of a decentralized waste separation and treatment in regions, in addition to several main centers for the disposal of large amounts of waste using environmental sustainable ways.
“Although the Government has removed waste from Beirut streets, the issue remains. The Ministry of Environment affirmed that there are more than 940 open landfills in Lebanon, and wastes are burned in more than 150 landfills in the poor Lebanese regions. Human Rights Watch has recently issued a report entitled: “As if you’re inhaling your death”. As long as Lebanon continues to burn waste, it is breaching the international law. The doctors believe that waste burning causes heart diseases, cancer, respiratory and skin diseases,” Fakih said.