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The Office of the Minister of State for Administrative Reform (OMSAR) launched today the "Solid Waste Management Programmes (SWAM I and SWAM II)" which are funded by the European Union with a grant of €35 million, in the presence of H.E. Minister Nabil De Freige, and the Head of the Delegation of the European Union to Lebanon, Ambassador Christina Lassen.
The launching ceremony was attended by representatives of the Ministry of Interior and Municipalities, the Ministry of Environment, and the Council for Development and Reconstruction, heads of union of municipalities and municipalities, in addition to a number of experts in the field of solid waste management. It was followed by a press conference with Minister De Freige and Ambassador Lassen.
Minister De Freige expressed his appreciation for the EU support for solid waste management in Lebanon, and thanked all those who worked to formulate and to execute the programmes. He indicated that the cooperation between the EU and OMSAR is longstanding and solid, and covers a wide spectrum of projects from Solid Waste Management to Human Resource Development, Strategic Planning, Public Procurement and Simplification of Procedures through the Policy and Planning Programmes, as well as support for civil society through the AFKAR programmes. Minister De Freige also voiced hope that the EU would simplify its administrative procedures in order to speed up the completion of all projects.
Ambassador Lassen stated that "thanks to the EU support since 2004, with the new programmes, a total of 540 municipalities, representing 3.5 million beneficiaries, will be assisted in implementing effective solid waste management. More than 600 jobs will be created for the benefit of the local communities, and a total treatment capacity of 2,395 tonnes per day will be reached representing more than 43% of solid waste generated in Lebanon."
Through the SWAM I and SWAM II programmes, 8 sanitary landfills and 8 solid waste treatment plants will be constructed or extended, and disposal and collection equipment (bins, trucks and compactors) will be provided. It is expected that approximately 2 million people through 280 municipalities will directly benefit from these programmes.
The programmes, which will be implemented over 5 years, will help alleviate the extra pressure on Lebanon's waste management system caused by the Syrian crisis, as well as the on-going solid waste crisis in Lebanon.