The oil spill is now taking its toll on the beaches of Sidon and Jiyeh after having reached that of Tyre and Naqoura on February 20, the source of pollution being the occupied Palestine.
“The tar residue we are seeing on the beach is a trace of the pollution that has arrived from the occupied Palestine and has contaminated the beaches of Naqoura, Mansouri and Tyre up to Ramlet al-Baida,” Mohammad al-Sarji, head of the Lebanese Union of Professional Divers, told Sawt Beirut International (SBI) reporter Sara Chehade.
“It’s obvious that the pollution stemming from the occupied Palestine is not over yet – it’s a big problem. Even if we’re done with cleaning our beaches, they will be contaminated once again. Therefore, the government should act immediately to uncover the truth behind the source and cause of this pollution and to determine who shall be held fully liable for such incident,” al-Sarji said.
The government and the concerned ministries are completely disregarding this environmental catastrophe while municipalities and NGOs are working with limited capabilities in order to address it.
“The government is the one that must act; it’s not the municipalities’ duty,” he said, adding however that the municipalities are taking action so as to keep the beaches clean.
Asked about how difficult it is to clean the beach, al-Sarji replied “depending on the scale of pollution; a sandy beach is easy to clean, but the problem is in rocky beaches which require specialized companies to do the job.”
There is fear that the pollution caused by the oil spill will reach all Lebanese beaches, which will threaten the upcoming summer tourist season.