Beirut, Asharq Al Awsat – With Beirut under Israeli aerial bombardment, for the second week, the stench of uncollected garbage on the capital’s streets is adding to the woes of the population.
The national garbage collection company Sukleen has been paralyzed since the start of the Israeli attacks, after more than 90% of its foreign workforce fled Lebanon. Many local employees have been unable to travel into work everyday, as several roads and bridges have been destroyed.
“Sukleen is doing its utmost to maintain a certain level of public hygiene, according to the means available,” its director Anthony Kurban told Asharq Al Awsat on Tuesday.
“To fill the gap following the departure of most of our workforce, Sukleen has launched a campaign in the national media. However, the professions of street cleaners and garbage collectors are at the bottom of the Lebanese social ladder. In order to lure prospective employees, the company is providing a good salary and additional benefits.”
Kurban said a number of Lebanese men have already joined Sukleen, but added, “It is best not to interview them, so as not to embarrass them and prevent others from joining them.”
Meanwhile, the company’s officials have carried out several field visits across Beirut, in a symbolic move “to encourage young Lebanese men and women to work, as this is our country and we have to ensure it remains clean,” Kurban said.
Kurban vowed Sukleen “will continue its work despite the dangers and the shortage of employees.”