Environmental Impacts of Reconstruction Activities: A Case ofLebanon


1 Earth Link and Advanced Resources Development (ELARD), Lebanon

2 Department of Environmental Health, Faculty of Health Sciences, American University of Beirut, Lebanon

3 Lebanese Ministry of Environment, Lebanon


Significant damages incurred across Lebanon during the July 2006 war encompassing the destruction of road networks, bridges and overpasses as well as a vast number of dwelling units. It is anticipated that reconstruction works after the war shall unavoidably create a newly founded demand for natural resources, most notably primary and secondary construction material. This paper assesses the war-related impacts of the construction sector on the environment coupled with recommendations for controlling and mitigating these impacts. A cost benefit analysis of four different scenarios for supplying construction material was conducted based on their environmental and fiscal costs as well as their economic benefits and government returns. The Fixed Box Model was applied to estimate air pollutants concentration. Results indicated that the preferred alternative for the supply of cement primarily consists of local manufacturing of 100 percent of the required quantities. With regards to sand and aggregates, the analysis indicated that the preferred alternatives are to either rely on local production or import 25 percent of the required material. The predicted average concentration of Total Suspended Particulates at the southern suburb of Beirut site exceeded the recommended values of the Lebanese, EU, USEPA, and WHO standards.