This title should not surprise anyone conscious about the garbage crisis that Lebanon is enduring since 4 months now. Such epidemic disease was expected from day one, due to the incompetency of the government and the political body in solving another major and critical situation.
A prominent feature of the Lebanese mentality is that we always wait for the developing outcomes of any problem to occur, then try to find a solution for that particular outcome rather than the problem itself. We tend to reach the ultimate options we have without taking a proper wise decision. For example, after the end of Michel Sleiman’s mandate, we all knew that no parliament voting session will be held to elect a new president, simply because politicians had other options to chose from. They extended the parliament for 17 months in order to elect a president, then for another 31 months under the pretext of not electing a president.
Anyhow, the garbage crisis was expected since July 2014, when a 1-year notice was given to close Al-Naa’meh dump site but without ever acting during that given timeline. One year later, Lebanese politicians started focusing on how and why did the garbage end on the streets, who to blame and how to split this lucrative business? It’s obvious that when a catastrophe occurs, all financial means are allocated to resolve the issue, but only if it’s done under the supervision of known political figures.
Cholera might be a frightening term but people living in Lebanon are already facing other illnesses caused by the garbage, such as gastrointestinal and stomach pains, diarrhea, skin diseases and other respiratory allergies. Cholera is a bacterial disease typically from infected water supplies, present mainly in African and Asian countries, it was lately detected in areas of Bahrain, Kuwait and Syria due to the influx of pilgrims returning from “hajj” and fighters entering Syria. This outbreak could spread to surrounding countries that have favorable conditions for hosting and developing the disease.
Some claim that the current generation is doomed, and that our children and grandchildren will be more privileged in enjoying a better life in Lebanon. It’s a wishful thinking we express in order to explain our incapability and unwillingness to make a change to our current situation, always blaming it on the “state” with a continuous nagging tone.
In fact, we are eliminating any hope for future generations to remain in Lebanon, we are destroying this country on the long-term with our short-sighted actions. We are polluting groundwater with our trash, we are hysterically excavating the mountains, deforesting greenery to construct buildings, careless marine littering, disbelieving in the efficiency of a state entity and political system, selling our lands to foreign investors who will one day make our children renters and employees in their own country.
So, few months from today when you read the title “First Case of Cholera In Lebanon” across all media, bare in mind that we will be focusing more on how to quarantine the infected person, if we shall send him abroad or treat him locally, debating which Lebanese hospital is better, etc…
Lebanon is constantly described as the Switzerland of the Middle-East, without ever being close to this comparison, because in reality you needed Swiss people to build Switzerland.