By Mohammed Zaatari

Children horrified by appalling state of Sidon’s notorious dump

SIDON: More than 50 children were shocked by the horrible condition of the Sidon garbage dump on Friday, when they visited the location as part of efforts by Le Mouvement Social.

The children, aged between 7 and 12, were participating in a two-week summer day course run by the NGO. They visited the dump to learn about the hazards of untreated rubbish and all of them were taken aback by the severity of the crisis.

“I saw dead animals, sheep skin, empty bottles and lots of rubbish. There is no life near the dump, some pets have even died from the stink and people have fallen ill,” said Hanaa Qassem, one of the participants.

The children were asked to write down their reactions on small notebooks, but not surprisingly, no positive remarks were generated by the eye-opening, and nose-opening field trip.

Abd Qassir, a coordinator at the program, explained to the children that people living around the dump suffered from health problems and the area around it was damaged, especially the sea, because there was no barrier to stop the garbage from falling into the water.

He also regretted that all types of waste were mixed together, while scavengers are active at the site, without using any protection.

Naim Zein, a child living in Sidon and participating in the program, stressed the need to find a solution for the dump. “It’s a terrifying sight. The dump is very big and tall, but no one can stand near it, because of the horrible stench,” he said.