• Avani Sood

A year after the Beirut explosion

A year after the Beirut explosion, life has only become worse for millions of Lebanese people who have seen their living conditions deteriorate, forcing them to leave the country.

Almost one year ago, a giant blast sent a shock wave through Beirut, bringing death, destruction, and fear about a future that was already grim. The blast killed around 210 people, wounded several thousand, and left large swathes of the capital badly damaged.

Twelve months later, the whole country has been brought to its knees, with more than half of the population living in poverty.

Nearly a later, however, no top officials have been questioned about the happenings. There has been little progress in the investigation into the explosion caused by hundreds of tons of ammonium nitrate. Major questions remain unanswered, including why such a large shipment of ammonium nitrate, a highly explosive chemical used in bombs and fertilizer, was left stored in the middle of a crowded city for years after being unloaded in 2013.

The immunity enjoyed by senior officials has raised suspicions among some families that there may never be accountability. Though, the Lebanon government now seems to be ready to lift the immunity of its members and allowing questioning.

Lebanon will observe a national day of mourning on Aug. 4, the first anniversary of a major explosion at the Port of Beirut. While those deceived will be mourned, the government has paid no heed to the living, its citizens.

Lebanon has now become a nightmare for its population, with some of the lowest minimum wages in the world, and most of the population relying on their families living abroad for money and essentials. The health facilities are facing a catastrophe, and this will only get worse as covid continues.

Research Coordinator - Avani Sood

Editor and Graphics - Vaishnavi Bhojane