Among the deals concluded by the Free Patriotic Movement, the project to build the Musailha dam in Batroun, the dam that announced its completion three years ago, exposed today the extent of the project’s catastrophic failure. The water is almost collected in a corner of the dam, while the rest of the larger area is dry, so is there any need to build a dam in that area?
Former MP and Minister Moein Al- Marabi told “Sawt Beirut International” correspondent, Ibrahim Fatfat, “There must be a need to construct a dam, and its location should be appropriate and the land engineeringly suitable for its implementation. In the Musilha project, the land is not suitable, as it does not allow to bear the weight of water and store it. Despite the huge quantities of concrete that were placed in it, cracks still exist”. He added, “When announcing its completion three years ago, we said that it would not store water and that it had failed miserably. They talked about treatments and so far not one percent of it has been filled.”
On the opposite side of the dam, the international road from Tripoli to Beirut is still cut off after the slope collapsed since 2019. Geological expert, engineer Dr. Samir Zaatiti, indicated in a call to “Sawt Beirut International” that the type of soil in the area swells and its volume increases with water, which increases its pressure on the already cracked old wall, which has not been maintained”.
On the other hand, Al-Marabi believes that the explosives that were used in the implementation of the dam had a significant impact on the collapse of the wall, which increased its crack and pushed its collapse with large amounts of rain in the winter of 2019.
Al- Marabi said, “I remember I was talking about Sidr and Nahr al-Bared, which is a great river in Akkar, and it is not like the river on which the Musayliha dam was built. Nahr al-Bared needs a larger dam that completely irrigates the Akkar Plain, which is the second plain in terms of area and capabilities in Lebanon and is not comparable with the orchards of Batroun. Gibran Bassil sent his group to allocate $5 million for acquisitions and construction, while $70 million was allocated for the small Musailha Dam. I confronted them and amended the budgets that were set, and 300 million dollars were allocated to the Al-Bared Dam, knowing also that Tripoli needs drinking water, and if the Al-Bared dam is not built, there will be a problem”.