Only a small pool of water is retained in the massive multi-million dollar Mseilha dam, seen in these pictures from last week after some of the final heavy rains of the winter season.
The dam was reportedly completed in 2019. It was full of water for a brief period in 2020, but by the end of last year, the dam was empty again.
The former minister of Energy Nada Boustani reportedly claimed the dam had been emptied late last year for “testing purposes” and promised the project would be ready by 2021. Many water experts and activists say this is a gigantic waste of money like many other dam projects that have failed or are projected to fail due to Lebanon’s porous karst bedrock that absorbs and prevents dams from retaining water. Similar concerns were expressed about the Janneh Dam, which is far behind its initial completion date of 2016.
Many feel such projects not only risk wasting taxpayer money in a bankrupt economy, but also create major environmental destruction. Will Mslieha dam be another failure? Or will it surprise the critics? Information on this project is scarce, so if there are any experts out there that have more answers, do feel free to leave a comment or get in touch over the site’s contact form.