The ministry of Energy & Water is developing a multipurpose project of a dam in the historical region of Janneh, Nahr Ibrahim.
The dam should deliver hydroelectricity, drinking and irrigation water.
But, Environment Minister Mohammad Mashnouq asked Energy Minister Arthur Nazarian to stop the construction of the Janneh dam in Mount Lebanon's Nahr Ibrahim town due to its repercussions on the environment, and warned that his ministry would take legal action in case the Energy Ministry did not respond to its calls.
“The Environment Ministry found out that digging and construction works have been carried out in the Nahr Ibrahim area to build the dam without a prior consent from the Environment Ministry,” the statement issued by Mashnouq’s press office read.
Mashnouq also called on Nazarian to immediately stop the digging works and submit the environmental impact assessment of the dam to the Environment Ministry so that it could assess the project, in the light of the questions raised by a previous environmental study on the dam.”
“The Energy Ministry had previously ignored memorandums sent by the Environment Minister calling for preparing a study on the environmental repercussions of all dams, especially the Janneh dam,” the statement added.
However, Mashnouq voiced his confidence in Nazarian, “who is keen on allying the law and putting things back on track.”
“But in case the Energy Ministry kept ignoring our request, we
would have to take the necessary legal measures in order to stop the
project works until the regulations stipulated in the decree of the
environmental impact assessment are applied.”
BGR (Germany), SAFEGE (France) studies proved why the Janna Dam is a non-sens.
The German Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources strongly recommended not to go ahead with the construction of the planned Janneh dam.
Conclusion and Recommendations:
The results of all four measurement campaigns prove the existence of a massive infiltration into the J4 aquifer in the Upper Nahr Ibrahim Valley and have major implications for the currently ongoing planning of the Janneh dam which extends well into the assumed zone of high infiltration.
The exact location of the infiltration zone could be narrowed down to the area shown in Figure 23. The infiltration zone could start at an elevation of approx. 80m asl going up to around 860 m asl. The major infiltration is assumed to be at an elevation of 810-820 m asl. The planned minimum level of the Janneh dam would be at 834 m asl, the maximum level at 839 m asl. Due to infiltration between 14 and 29 m of storage would be lost completely.
In view of the current findings, it is strongly recommended not to go ahead with the construction of the planned Janneh dam.
The infiltrating water is believed to flow towards Jeita spring, constituting a large share of discharge at Jeita Spring. Any interference at the infiltration zone would directly affect Jeita spring. Should it be attempted to seal the infiltration zone, though practically impossible, discharge at Jeita spring would be significantly reduced.
It is recommended to establish a completely new monitoring of spring flow at Afqa and Rouaiss springs because both stations are in a state of disrepair and do not produce useful results. Construction costs for both are in the range of 1 Mio USD.
Qabbani Deputy said that consulting engineers Safege also judged that the area’s geology did not suit the building of the dam.
Qabbani also highlighted that the state-run Establishment of the Water of Beirut and Mount Lebanon (EMBL) has commissioned the construction of the Janna dam in violation of applicable laws, which stipulate that the Energy and Water Ministry has such prerogatives.
Qabbani also slammed the Court of Accounts for allowing the EMBL to go ahead with the project.