1. Nowadays, the green spaces in Achkoot are

 

1.    
Project
Area:

 

Achkoot
is one of the biggest towns in Kesserwan District of the Mount Lebanon
Governorate of Lebanon with a total area of 588 hectares (5.88 km2).
It is surrounded by rocky mountains from the north east and south east
directions and opened to the capital Beirut from the east west side of the
valley called “The valley of Msaylekh”, also it is 31 kilometers far from North
Beirut with an average elevation of 1000 m above sea level. The weather is warm
and sunny in the summer on the other hand very cold, rainy and sometimes snowy
in winter. It has three schools, 2 private and one public with approximately 739
students. Achkoot started recently to face some environmental challenges such
as random construction of buildings without taking into consideration the
protection of its green spaces that if damaged it would affect any living
species as plants and animals. Also the construction’s waste is being thrown
and open dumped in the valley mentioned above, which could lead to an increase
in the pollution. Finally, an increase of the population from 3000 to 5000
people after the Syrian crisis would create additional tons of untreated
garbage.

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2.    
Impacts
on the physical environment:

When
burned the accumulated waste would release the Methane gas which is a toxic gas
produced by the combustion of the organic waste that would affect the quality
of the air in the area which in his turn would lead to respiratory
complications that could often be deadly. In addition the remainder ashes when
buried in the soil would affect the production of that soil specially that
Achkoot has vast agricultural areas of apples trees. Also the open dumping would
produce foul odors and gases due to the decomposition of hazardous waste that
contaminate the air and the soil where it is decomposed. Finally, there’s no
underground water table, but the dumping of waste in places close to” Naher
Achkoot” that goes all the way to Jounieh would transport it and throw it in
the sea which will harm the marine life there and contaminate the water used in
agriculture lands close to the river.

3.     Impacts on the
biological environment:

Nowadays, the green spaces in
Achkoot are becoming more and more restricted to some agricultural areas
because constructions works are taking over and buildings of 4 to 5 floors are
occupying every inch left from any green space, so the flora which is consisted
mainly from Pine trees and the fauna from foxes, dogs, cats and different kinds
of birds and snakes is not majorly affected by the waste crisis cause it has
become already nearly extinct, but if we want to mention the minor impacts
caused by the accumulation and burning of the waste that would affect any  living organism exposed to it and would
create microbial deceases such as cholera which is transported by the animals
to the people in contact with . In addition a random burning could lead to a
big fire that would destroy anything left of green spaces. Finally, open
dumping and everything that comes with it causes the death of birds that would
be infected by viruses produced that would be spread by flies usually eaten by
those killed birds.

 

Socio-economic
impacts:The
roads in Achkoot are mostly one lane roads so the accumulation of waste on the
roads could create some transportation problems and sometimes it can become so
bad that it blocks some roads completely which makes it hard for students to
reach their schools and for people to reach their work properly. Plus when
burned it will cause some respiratory complications that could be deadly and
cancer causing for students of young age and that would lead to the closing of
the three schools mentioned before which affects the economy directly cause the
municipality would be losing the taxation money and indirectly when stores
visited by students with their parents would lose their customers. In addition
the ashes when buried close to agricultural lands would affect the production
of apple and in return it would create problems for people working in that
field. Also, the open dumping would be taking place near a small internal
school of the Franciscan sisters in a valley called the “Hashiye” and that
would affect badly the health of both students and sisters and could lead also
to injuries of students playing on or near the dumping site. Crisis Management plan:On
the short term it is better to reduce the waste by sorting it in a remote area
owned by the municipality away from homes, so the organic waste would be
composted under the ground and the solid waste like wood steel and glasses can
be sold to specific companies that work on recycling such materials.On
the long term a very well organized and executed project by the Cedars
Environmental (a Lebanese industrial and environmental organization) of zero
waste management had taken place in Bet Meri, and it includes building of a
plan capable of sorting and combusting which already started on the
short term plan in addition to recycling and compressing the materials left
after recycling on very high temperatures to produce an “eco-board” used in
construction purposes. So a project like that in Achkoot would be perfect with
everything explained in the following economic analysis. Economic Analysis:Ziad
Abi Chaker the founder of Cedars Environmental had made it clear in an interview
with the Daily Stars that he want to expand his project to different municipalities
all over Lebanon, all he needs is some land to build the plant that could serve
50 000 people and  process 25 tons of
waste per day. Plus it is known that the cost of such a project could be less
than half the cost of the contract any municipality have with Sukleen on
monthly basis that used to take 150$ per ton opposing to a 62$ per ton a
municipality would pay for such project. Also, the land away from residential
complexes for the construction of that project is available and Massaad family
could loan it to the company and would give the municipality a percent of the
loan so in that way the municipality won’t have to pay anything anymore. The
organization will take care of the construction and functioning expenses so
there is no need to discuss it since the cost and revenue of such a project is
their responsibility. Finally, in that way the organization would benefit from
working with all the villages surrounding Achkoot that would in its turn be
clear of any garbage.

 

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