Sidon yesterday launched an environment education project that includes waste separation in both private and public schools to encourage and spread awareness about protecting the environment.
The programme was launched by the minister of environment, Akram Chehayeb, Sidon MP and head of parliament’s education committee Bahiya Hariri, the governor of the south Faysal Sayegh and head of Sidon’s municipality Ahmad Kalash. The education ministry was represented by Nicolas Jammal.
More than 100 concerned environmentalists, ranging from NGOs to school teachers, attended the event.
Chehayeb said that a similar garbage separation plan will begin on November 16 in nine streets in the greater Beirut area.
“The trust we have in our people moves us to solve all of our environmental problems, in the belief we can work together to reach a better environment.”
Chehayeb said that he hoped that Sidon would set an example for other schools across the country, adding that his ministry was preparing a programme in collaboration with the education ministry to set up ecological clubs in all schools.
Hariri stressed the importance of spreading environmental education, saying the state of the ecology is a world-wide crisis most evident in developed nations that produce more hazardous industrial waste.
“If the substantial amount of waste generated in Lebanon is mismanaged, then it will threaten the environment, posing a danger to the air we breathe and the water we drink,” she said.
“Green education is a daily duty and its implementation must not be delayed. This education must begin at home and in schools,” she said.
Kalash said that dealing with waste was a priority for Sidon’s municipality, but stressed it was not the responsibility of officials alone.
“We’re putting all our efforts into finding the best solution for the city’s waste problem but this is not our responsibility alone. It’s the responsibility of every member of society.
“This issue requires co-operation with all groups and local NGOs to increase awareness and make people feel a sense of duty and recognise the importance of having a safe and healthy environment.”
The Hariri Foundation will provide schools with bins while the municipalities will collect the waste and deliver it to the local industries that recycle it.