The Lebanese National Bloc Party was confused by the strong advocacy of MP Ali Ammar, from the Loyalty to the Resistance Bloc with respect to the Bisri Dam project based on his comments at the parliamentary committees. The NB also denounce his accusation that the project opponents want to deprive the southern suburb and Beirut of water!
We thought that this Lebanese MP, whose party was in consecutive Cabinets for 15 years, was well informed about the project’s details. We believed he was perfectly aware that 48% of the water shortage in Beirut was due to theft and degradation of the distribution network, according to the Lebanese National Council for Scientific Research (CNRS).
We also thought that this Lebanese MP would not again cover up scandals of dams that were built by governments in which his party participated, and cost much more than the tenders’ prices. Despite this, the result was porous dams where public funds were wasted, not to mention the failure to deliver the promised water, and both the Mseilha Dam and Bisri Dam speak volumes of this fiasco.
We also thought that this Lebanese MP had read UNDP’s study confirming that the groundwater, which is renewed every year, is twice as much water as is needed in Lebanon. Hence, there is no need to collect water above the ground. But it seems obvious that this Lebanese MP either did not read, or he read and turned a blind eye.
These are just a few examples of all the scientific evidence contradicting the need for the Bisri Dam.
Why then this ongoing staunch defence of the Bisri Dam? Did we run out of all solutions to address water shortages?
Not at all. We provided the Lebanese MP with several studies, including a reference published by the German BGR agency. This study confirms that increasing water pumping level from the Jeita cave can solve a part of the water shortage. Other solutions are also available, such as drilling wells in the Bisri Valley, tapping groundwater in Beirut and throughout Lebanon in general, and rationalizing water use in irrigated agriculture (70% of water consumption in Lebanon) through cost-efficient drip irrigation.
If alternatives are available, why are they clinging to the Bisri Dam?
Search for the beneficiaries and the secret quota allocations, in this project, to find the answer. Secret allocations that this Lebanese MP is surely aware of. When the contractor of the FPM’s new headquarters, which is being constructed on the historical site of Nahr El-Kalb, is the same contractor of the Bisri Dam, question and exclamation marks would inevitably pop up??!! Did this Lebanese MP, who is entrusted with his people’s interests, ask about the extent of clientelism and waste of public funds in this project?
It seems that this Lebanese MP is well aware, but he chose to be loyal to his partners in the quota-based and corruption authority, at the expense of his partners in his nation, even if they were the residents of Dahiyeh, Beirut’s southern suburb.