USAID Completes Oil Spill Cleanup

For Immediate Release

Tuesday, March 17, 2009
USAID Press Office

BEIRUT, LEBANON -- The United States Agency for International Development has completed the cleanup of forty-three locations along a sixty kilometer stretch of the northern seashore from Tabarja to Enfeh. The devastation and subsequent clean-up followed the July 2006 conflict with Israel. Clean-up sites were selected in close coordination with the Lebanese Ministry of Environment. This program was part of a $230 million package provided to Lebanon from the U.S. to support humanitarian, reconstruction and security assistance following the conflict.

The $5.8 million cleanup project employed more than 220 local laborers, many of whom were fisherman who lost their livelihoods and boats, to support the cleanup using local machinery, equipment, caterers, and transporters. More than 100 fishermen’s boats were rapidly cleaned at the Byblos Port Jetty, allowing the fishermen to resume fishing quickly so they could generate income for their families. Following the cleanup, several tourist areas, marinas, hotels and beach resorts were able to resume their normal activities.

USAID’s program implementers collected approximately 1,300 cubic meters of oil-contaminated waste and more than 2,000 cubic meters of oil-contaminated sand from all locations. The Lebanese Ministry of Environment coordinated the removal of the contaminated sand from an interim storage location in Byblos to a designated area in Beirut.

USAID has worked in Lebanon since 1951 and implemented development projects to benefit Lebanese citizens. With funds from the American people, USAID creates jobs, invests in youth and protects the environment. USAID’s work reflects the strong friendship between the Lebanese and American people.