Transcript by Yumna Moosa
Parts of the port grain silos in Beirut, that were previously damaged by an explosion in 2020, have collapsed this week. This comes after it is alleged to have been triggered by a fire caused due to the grains fermenting in the summer heat. However, the Ukrainian embassy is now claiming that the grains within the silos have been stolen, while others state that the shipment is legitimate and has passed the Turkish inspections.
Habib Batah, an investigative journalist, told Radio Islam that this comes while ” the economic situation in Lebanon is quite horrible, the worst [ state the country has been in] according to history”. He also adds that people are facing a shortage of basic necessities such as water, bread and a basic access to electricity. Some part of the population live on less than one hour of electricity per day, and access to water once every month.
Habib states that “the [August 4th 2020 explosion] was a symptom of Lebanon’s problems. It was possibly one of the biggest explosions on earth that could be seen as an signal to the world about what Lebanon is facing. It’s a country that’s unmoored by any kind of state institution. The country is ruled by competing militias and these competing militias are funded by the worlds most powerful countries such as Saudi Arabia, Iran, the United States and France. And while these politicians have been vying for power in the country for the past half a century, Lebanon has been kept in a perpetual state of war”.
Very few countries have faced an economic disaster to this degree, and while its been two years since the 2020 explosion, almost nothing has changed in the area to clear the debris of the buildings that were affected by the impact of the explosion, which is why glass and rubble could still be found along the affected areas.
Listen to the full interview on the Radio Islam International SoundCloud