A factory in the Chouf, which is reportedly killing trees and fish with its effluent, has forced a farmer to take legal action.
Walid Mounir Yaman, who lives near the Awali river, has filed a lawsuit saying that a mixture of lead, limestone and marble powder drains across the soil of his orchards on its way down to the river, causing untold damage to lemon, loquat and avocado trees.
“In addition to harming the farm, the waste is killing the river’s fish which are seen floating dead in the stream,” said the director of the farm Abu Fouad Yaman yesterday.
“Diesel, which is used to clean the machines, also flows through the farm towards the river,” he said.
The factory, which cuts tiles and marble, is located in Alman and owned by Ghassan Baasiri and Mahmoud Zarif, relatives of the minister of state for financial affairs Fouad Seniora.
“Walid Yaman filed a lawsuit against the factory’s owners two years ago on charges of trespass and causing damage to his property, but the case has not been resolved,” Abu Fouad Yaman said.
He added that the environment ministry had sampled the outflow eight months ago but no results had surfaced.
“The waste stopped for a while when the samples were taken, but the factory resumed its illicit action soon after,” Abu Fouad Yaman said.
Chemist Naji Qodeih said: “The poisonous material kills fish because it is insoluble and sticks to their gills. It also decreases the acidity of soil, which reduces its fertility.”