The National Campaign to Protect the Bisri Valley in Lebanon

The National Campaign to Protect the Bisri Valley in Lebanon

posted in: Projects 2019 | 0

In this year’s pile of applications there were some surprises – one being the Bisri valley project. First we are happy to have reached people all over the world and river conservationists even in Lebanon have heard about the Free Rivers Fund and applied for grants. The second – not so happy – surprise was the sheer scale of destruction the Bisri valley is facing.

A valley just outside the capital

The Bisri valley is a rural area just 40 kilometers south of Beirut and a large damn, water reservoir and hydropower project is planned there as a solution to Beiruts water and power shortages. However, scientists and activists claim corruption and disinformation about the dam as they are convinced the dam will not actually store water as intended due to the karstic nature of the land and the big volume of alluviums all along the valley and river.
The proposed dam will cause extensive damage to the river and its ecosystem, flooding 6 million sqaure meteres of natural and agricultural lands. It will be extremely damaging to the environment, destroying fertile agricultural lands and also threaten the ecosystem of a protected area further downstream by interfering with the river flow. It will also displace local villagers and destroy archeological, historic, and cultural heritage throughout the project area: demolishing Roman ruins, ancient churches, and nearly 75 other archeological sites within its premises.
The campaign to protect the Bisri Valley aims to stop the construction of the dam and to protect the river and valley. They are trying to raise awareness of the dam's negative impacts and fuel resistance, as well as promoting alternative and sustainable water management solutions.

Campaign for more sustainable solutions

The campaign to protect the Bisri Valley aims to stop the construction of the dam and to protect the river and valley. They are trying to raise awareness of the dam's negative impacts and fuel resistance, as well as promoting alternative and sustainable water management solutions. The Free Rivers Fund is proud to be supporting their work in 2019!