BEIRUT — The Jounieh highway and connecting roads experienced flooding on Sunday evening, after drains were blocked by trash following heavy rains.
Caretaker Public Works Minister Ali Hamiyeh responded by urging citizens and local authorities to assume their responsibilities.
On Sunday morning, the minister shared a photo of blocked pipes on X, as well as a video showing garbage clogged pipes. In a second post, he showed municipal employees cleaning these drains.
برسم الرأي العام،وليحكم على تحمل المسوولية لدى البعض :— Ali Hamie | علي حمية (@alihamie_lb) October 1, 2023
وكأن دعوات التكامل بين الجهات المعنية تصبح لديه هباءً منثوراً !
- الصورة :هذا الصباح من جونية بالقرب من حلويات الدويهي قبل مفرق حاريصا
-الفيديو هذا المساء لنفس المكان يظهر طوفان من النفايات من امام المحلات ومن اعلى المنطقه ! pic.twitter.com/QHOaNUEBVG
"It seems that calls for cooperation between the concerned parties have gone unheeded! These images are from this morning [Sunday] in Jounieh, near the Douaihy pastry shop, before the Harissa crossroads. The video is from this evening. It comes from the same place and shows a flood of garbage in front of the stores and in the surrounding area!" Hamiyeh denounced.
ورش وزاره الاشغال العامه والنقل تعمل الان على تعزيلها … لو سمحتم بنترجاكم شو بنقلكم… قبلنا بحكم الطبيعه وتغيير المناخ ولكن مش معقول نقبل بالاستهتار من الناس والتقصير من الادارات الاخرى وبالاخر ان حصل فيضان ما عندكم الا الاهانات وتقاذف المسؤوليات pic.twitter.com/OshIjt74ss— Ali Hamie | علي حمية (@alihamie_lb) October 1, 2023
"We have accepted the consequences of nature and climate change, but it is unacceptable to accept the negligence of people and the laxity of other administrations" he said, alluding to the municipalities, which report to the Ministry of the Interior. "At the end of the day, if flooding occurs, all you have to offer are excuses and trading blame."
Highway maintenance is the responsibility of the Ministry of Public Works, while inland roads are the responsibility of the municipalities.
On Sept. 27, Hamiyeh called on citizens to stop throwing waste into the Ghadir river in Beirut's southern suburbs, claiming it could pose a threat "to public safety and human lives."
Waste blocked sewage and drainage systems, especially after heavy rain, cause flooding across Lebanon's coastal areas every year. Weakened by nearly four years of crisis, the country is ill-prepared for winter storms. An elderly man died last year during heavy flooding in Oct. 2022.