words Alexa Wang
On the fourth of August, 2020, Beirut, the capital city of Lebanon, experienced an immense chemical explosion.
The explosion itself was sadly quite avoidable and largely linked to corporate negligence, as the Moldovan-flagged cargo ship carrying the 2750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate that triggered the explosion, was deemed unfit to leave Beirut’s dock due to technical issues, and the owners of the vessel responded by promptly abandoning the ship in Warehouse 12. The compounds were stored improperly, causing an explosion that authorities have deemed to be one of the largest non-nuclear explosions in human history.
We’ve decided to provide you with an overview of the situation in Beirut to promote the region’s ongoing need for aid. Read on to hear how the city’s bounced back, as well as what’s left to do, and where you can donate to help Beirut and surrounding districts that were impacted by the incident.
It’s important to mention that it wasn’t just the docklands that were hit by the explosion. The immediate explosion left a 140m crater in the side of the city’s dock, but the local impact also saw whole vessels blown out of the water, whole warehouses destroyed, and a whopping 9km away, the windows at Beirut’s airport were blown to pieces.
According to the BBC, the Beirut Central District was also heavily impacted by the initial explosion, as were the city’s neighbouring districts of Marfaa and Ashrafieh. The latter two districts have been able to secure makeshift housing for residents who have been rendered homeless by the incident, but the central district has been struggling to attain a similar level of progress.
What’s Left To Do
The city is still struggling with providing infrastructure and shelter for its citizens. One of the major issues being experienced by the city following the explosion has been rebuilding roadways, waterways, and other infrastructure that will allow local and international charities to deliver much-needed supplies as well as help in the fight to secure housing for residents in and around the city centre.
Food security is also a great issue, as upwards of 300,000 people were left homeless following the incident. Surrounding regions in Lebanon are doing what they can to provide those impacted with fresh groceries, but there’s only a certain amount the nation’s agricultural sector can do. The bulk of food aid is still coming from international charities, a situation which is becoming largely unsustainable, especially given the city’s worries surrounding infrastructure.
Volunteers are working hard to rebuild houses of residents across the city, but these grassroots groups are spread quite thin, and are receiving little to no support or attention from the Lebanese government, who’s still occupied with investigating the explosion, and ensuring similar incidents won’t be occurring in the future.
What You Can Do To Help
As media coverage of Beirut is rather limited in the face of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, it’s important to keep in mind that this too is an ongoing issue, and so the conversation surrounding Lebanon needs to stay alive. Be sure to communicate your concerns with your friends and family, and urge your community to donate to help support the people of Beirut.
As this explosion was caused by corporate negligence, it’s imperative that we come to the aid of the people of Beirut, not just to help this city be rebuilt back to its former glory, and to help its people recover from this heinous event, but also to promote the message that compassion and humanity will never take a back seat to corporate greed and profit-hunting.
Your donation will help both local and international charities provide warm meals, shelter, and financial aid to the people whose lives have been upturned by this careless incident. The aid will also allow the city of Beirut and the Lebanese government to finally shift their focus back to rebuilding the infrastructure that the city is in dire need of.
Please donate today, and help further the conversation!