Beirut Garbage Crisis

There are plenty of things we as americans take for granted and don’t realize the hard work and dedication that goes into planning and creating a safe and healthy environment. We look over the small things, like the privilege of being able to take our garbage out and know it will be taken care of, not worrying about where it will be stored or that we will ever have to see it again in our lifetime. However, it is not always as easy as taking your trash to the dump or taking it out to your apartment complex dumpster in other countries.

After reviewing the photojournalist’s picture collection of the trash crisis protests of August 2015 in Beirut, Lebanon I was really shocked with how the entire situation was handled. I simply do not understand how the government can afford to pay for police enforcement to be present during protests, but does not take the time to spend that money on cleaning up the trash piled up in the city. Although, the government might not be completely responsible for the dumping of trash in the city, as it may be careless citizens who have no other place to put their trash in, I strongly feel it is the government’s responsibility to be authoritative and do what they can to prevent the dumping of trash in public city areas, and to make specified and proper dumping areas available for the community.

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Nairobi, Kenya (July 2015)

While in Kenya this past summer there was a situation where we drove down to the city and saw trash piled up at a round about in the city center of Nairobi. The situation was very disappointing and I could not help but to feel upset and frustrated with the people who were dumping the trash and creating this mess. After reading through this article and researching more on then crisis, I came to find that there isn’t necessarily something wrong with the dumpers, or a specific someone to blame, but a communal problem among the people, the law enforcement and government organization on the disposal of trash. It takes a collective effort among the three branches of the city mentioned above, to be able to stop such an unsanitary and disastrous habit, and to stop creating circumstances that lead citizens to dump trash into public city areas.

A difference that I see from the two major cities in these two countries, Nairobi and Beirut, is that the city of Beirut has community members that definitely care and are willing to protest until justice and improvement has been notable in the city. Not that the Kenyan community is not willing to do that, or are at all careless about the hazardous situation, but in my time there I was not able to witness any protests or hear any commentary by the locals about the garbage crisis. On the contrary, I witnessed my American hosts explaining to her local employee the importance of keeping her own home space clean, and how dumping trash is unsanitary and dangerous for the children around. Although these two cities are different, and the situations and reasoning for the garbage crisis differs, there is definitely a need of improvement, not only in the community members in some cases, but in the way government makes disposable garbage areas available for the city.

Beirut Garbage Crisis

2 thoughts on “Beirut Garbage Crisis

  1. I think this may go to show that the Beirut trash crisis was not just a failure of the government to address the problems of their citizens. It could be a warning sign of the growing amounts of trash and depleting space in our landfills around the world.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Maria Manzanares Gurucharri says:

    I completely understand your point of view; I also was shocked with the images and think that until we see it we don’t really realize the problems that so much garbage causes. A similar problem happened in Spain last year where the garbage men went on strike and I can assure you it is not very pleasant. I also think that the government has the majority of the fault here as the only thing they do is invest money on what they prefer never looking for the security of the population. Arms and police enforcement may protect in a way the citizens but the health is one of the most important things to look out for, therefore the garbage should be a priority in their schedule.


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