The Council for Development and Reconstruction snapped back at Kataeb Party leader MP Sami Gemayel on Thursday after he accused it of being responsible for the corruption in the waste file.

“It’s been a while that the CDR has become the target of a series of accusations that it has been avoiding to respond,” the council said in a statement.

“But some statements made on Wednesday crossed all boundaries after the Council was accused of covering up corruption,” it said.

The Council said its defamation would harm the image and reputation of the Lebanese state.

CDR stressed that its role lies in implementing projects after being tasked by the government to do so.

“The waste export plan received the consensus of the political parties. The CDR did not assume any mission until it was tasked by the government to do so on December 21, 2015,” it said.

“But the CDR has so far not signed any contract with any side on the export of waste,” the Council added.

The statement came after Gemayel said the CDR is not qualified to handle the waste management file.

“It has proven its incapacity in that field,” he said.

“The government must hold it responsible for failing to manage tenders and resolve the crisis,” the lawmaker added.

A scandal erupted earlier in the week when a Russian official claimed that the British company which was tasked by the Lebanese government to export the country’s waste had fabricated the permits.

Lebanon’s waste crisis erupted when the country’s largest landfill in Naahmeh was closed in July last year.

Since then, the garbage has been piling up on the streets and in random locations, such as river banks and valleys.


Gemayel: State Failed in Running Trash File, CDR not Qualified – NAHARNET

Kataeb party chief Sami Gemayel stated on Wednesday that the Lebanese state has “immensely” failed in handling the trash management file and that the Council for Development and Reconstruction is not qualified to handle it.

“The state has failed in handling the garbage management file which had turned into a Mexican soap opera and a national and health disaster burdening the Lebanese,” Gemayel said after leaving the dialogue session held at Ain el-Tineh.

The lawmaker who left the dialogue session before it ended said angrily: “The Council for Development and Reconstruction is not qualified to handle the file. It has proven incapability in that field.”

“From the beginning we rejected the idea of exporting the trash because neither the destination nor the expenses entailed were known. Today things have proven that we were right,” added the lawmaker.

“The CDR is not qualified to run the file and Prime Minister Tammam Salam must hold accountable the parties responsible.”

Lebanon has been suffering with a waste management crisis since the Naameh landfill closed in July 2015.

The government’s failure to find alternatives led to the piling up of garbage on the streets and in random locations, which raised health and environmental concerns and sparked unprecedented street protests against the entire political class.

In December, the cabinet approved the export plan with representatives of Britain’s Chinook and Holland’s Howa BV, which withdrew afterward.