A leak in an oil pipeline that stretches from Kirkuk in Iraq to Tripoli in Northern Lebanon has polluted the sea off the Abdeh-Akkar port, endangering the fish population and contaminating the nets of the fishermen who depend on the sea for their livelihoods.
The disaster comes as Lebanese continue to struggle with the worst economic crisis the nation has ever faced, with currency devalued by 90 percent and some citizens attempting to storm local banks that have shut down rather than allow depositors to withdraw their savings.
The Iraq-Lebanon pipeline suffers from wear and cracks, according to a report by L’Orient Today, and is also regularly sabotaged by individuals who use special pumps to withdraw oil they then sell in the local market.
A fisherman in Akkar shared a video of the oil spill from the leaking Iraqi oil pipeline, which passes through Syria and then crosses Akkar, with L’Orient Today, lamenting the country’s latest disaster.
“The water’s smell is foul, and the oil has polluted our nets and threatened the remaining fish population,” the fisherman wrote, urging the Tripoli oil facilities to “stop this leakage immediately.”