Chekka residents’ worst pollution fears

Chekka residents’ worst pollution fears
Published: 03 February 2004

Lebanon: Koura and Chekka residents have been complaining about rising air pollution levels for years. Despite a series of anecdotal accounts of respiratory diseases, residents’ could not conclusively prove the risk of exposure to air pollution. But a new study that was recently released by the Lebanese American University might just help them in their quest to raise awareness of this issue.  The report has detected that harmful chemicals are at unsafe levels in the area. Raouf Youssef, director of USAID in Lebanon said that the study’s three main objectives were the improvement of governance, economic opportunities, and environmental conditions in the country.  Chairman of the Environmental Committee of the Association of Lebanese Industrialists, Hisham Abu Jaoude said, "We take full responsibility for the problem and its cure."

In total, five monitoring stations have been placed in the Chekka-Koura region. A central station was placed in Chekka, with four surrounding stations in Kefraya, Kfar Hazir, Fih, and Enfeh. The results showed levels of NO2 near acceptable levels, yet the levels of SO2 and PM10 levels were high, especially at key periods in time. Karam attributed this to industrial accidents.