The Information Office of the Ministry of Energy and Water has issued the following statement:
In response to the press conference held by Representative Ghiath Yazbek in the House of Representatives on 4 July 2022, in which he addressed the topic of Musailha Dam and Lake, entitled “Presentation of Documents and Data Concerning the Perseverance of the Ministry of Energy and Water in the waste of public money ”, the Ministry of Energy and Water is concerned, and for the thousandth time, to inform the opinion of General and Honorable Representative Yazbek about the facts related to this project:
The mobilization experiments, which took place after the completion of the basic works on the dam and the lake, began in late 2019, when the Ministry of Energy indicated that it would run for at least two years. Here we point out that the timing of mobilization during winter and spring should be when the river floods, even if it coincides with the election period It can not be during summer and autumn when the river dries up.
These experiments were repeated three times as the Coyne et Bellier, Libanconsult Consulting Alliance was able to collect important data on the stability of the dam’s body and its response to repeated filling operations as well as the degree of isolation from the lake. According to these studies, the defects in the floor and sides of the lake were diagnosed, which led to leaks of which the ministry was aware by public opinion, successively through its data, and for the occasion things happen in most dam projects around the world. dam and the lake under investment?
These experiences and treatments to which we have referred over the past two years have contributed to the reduction of the leakage rate by 40 per cent, according to the reports of the international consultant, who did not refer to the impact of the lake from near or far . on the international highway, as claimed by Representative Yazbek, and these allegations do not even rise to the level of imagination.
This decrease in the level of leaks occurred, knowing that the ministry was unable to complete the list of treatments proposed by the consultant, nor to build a water refining plant, tanks and lines connected to the project. does not settle due to the impossibility of financing hard currency after the collapse of the exchange rate of the lira and due to the coincidence of works with the Corona pandemic and repeated public closures. Here, Honorable Representative, we mention the law of extension of the deadlines that apply to all contracts and which, if we apply it to the Musailhadam project, extends the trial period by about 16 months, i.e. until May 2023.
The objections made by the environmental associations last month against the obstruction of the dam’s gates to fill it, which according to their claim led to the drainage of the course of the Jouz River under the dam, prompted the Ministry, despite its need to hold water. for as long as possible in the lake, to open the gates of the dam and the provision of more than 20 thousand cubic meters of water per day to feed the stream under the dam, while the rate of river discharge in the same period does not exceed 6 did not have a thousand cubic meters per day, and it accelerated the process of emptying the dam.
The conciliation contract discussed by the Honorable Representative was duly sent to the Legislature and Consultative Authority, as has always been the case with such contracts, and not smuggled under the guise of darkness. A public tender held in the Tenders Division approved by the Audit Bureau.
To facilitate the work of the Commission, the Ministry included all the data and documents that help to make the decision, including the central inspection report, which indicates the possibility of defects in the lake, which was indicated by the Ministry at the time. and worked with the consultant and contractor on the repair process. The contractor Maltauro implemented what was asked of him in terms of completing part of the required repairs, and paid in cash dollars the price of the required materials, knowing in advance the risks he would bear if the Lebanese state were to decides to pay him for his fees in Lebanese pounds at the official exchange rate; It was necessary for the administration to prepare the statements of works and include them in the reconciliation contract to be paid if the Legislative and Consulting Authority agrees.
As for Representative Yazbek’s demand that the court act, we remind him that the Lebanese court had previously opened an investigation into the file of the Musailha Dam and listened to those involved in the case, including administrators, contractors and consultants, where he could, if he considered this request from the competent references, revised the file.
As for what His Excellency the Representative calls the stopping of pumping stations, if what is meant here is sewage or even drinking water, then we refer it to the famous Parliamentary session during which the representatives of his block the Electricity of Lebanon Corporation of the procurement of a treasury advance due to the need to buy fuel to operate the factories, which caused the country and the people to suffer.This led to the suspension of many life services, not least water and sanitation.
In the end, the Ministry of Energy and Water invites representative Ghiath Yazbek and others who want to see the data and documents related to all sectors that fall under the Ministry’s responsibility to come to the Ministry’s building at the time they want. , as His Excellency the Minister and the Administration are ready to provide them with everything that will expand their scientific horizons and help them achieve their goals. Make the right choices and appeal to everyone to join to ensure the necessary funding to move major strategic projects forward in the service of citizens, not to look for what is hindering or canceling them.