Ain Dara Cement Factory, Lebanon

Fattouch's death factory meets heavy opposition from the locals of Ain Dara. The Ain Dara municipality refuses to give Fattouch a license to start building due serious environmental and health impact .


Being advertised as a job creating opportunity, the Ain Dara cement factory has stirred up a lot of turmoil in the public eye. Many protests have risen demonstrating both the illegal nature and the environmental impacts of the plant. The factory was supposed to be located in Zahle, however heavy protest from Zahle residents due to environmental concerns has led to the suspension of the project in Zahle, and it’s relocation to Ain Dara .According to Zahle’s MP “the environmental problems would not only affect the city of Zahle, but the entire district as well”.

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Basic Data
NameAin Dara Cement Factory, Lebanon
ProvinceMount Lebanon
SiteAin Dara
Accuracy of LocationMEDIUM regional level
Source of Conflict
Type of Conflict (1st level)Industrial and Utilities conflicts
Type of Conflict (2nd level)Deforestation
Building materials extraction (quarries, sand, gravel)
Specific CommoditiesCement
Project Details and Actors
Project DetailsSet to be 5 million m2 of land in quarries and the cement factory, Fattouch is advertising his factory as financially beneficial for the village. However no amount of money will fix the number of environmental issues it will cause. The factory will be located near the biosphere reserve, which is the largest natural cedar reserves in Lebanon, and in close proximity to a water spring. The residents fear that the factory will pollute the main source of water, as well as lead to the destruction of the Shouf biosphere reserve. The factory is part of Fattouch's greater operations of quarries. In 1995 Fatouch obtained a 20 year operating license from the municipality, which later in 2009 became legally protected by the government. Although the license allows Fattouch to use the 2000 meter2 of land, Fattoush's quarries are now occupying 20,000 meter2.

The factory has brought on lots of protests, not just by Ain Dara resident but neighboring villages as well. The factory will not just affect the resident of Ain Dara, but the whole of the central Bekaa. “المعمل سيلوث البقاع الاوسط كاملا”, “the factory will pollute the whole of central Bekaa”, Said Qab Elias mayor Jihad Mouallem. Shockingly Fattouch has received approval from both the ministry of the environment and the Ministry of Industries. However, Fattouch cannot start construction whithout the approval of Ain Dara municipality which he will not recieve. The locals are determined to not let “the death factory” get built. In an interview conducted with Nadine Bader a local activist from the women of Ain Dara movement stated that they do not want a repeat of what happened in Chekka. Chekka is the most polluted city in the Batroun district. The locals of Chekka are forced to leave the town due the environmental problems it’s facing. Chekka is the most polluted city in the caza of Batroun since it is the center of companies and cement plants. Many cancer causing toxin pollute the Chekka air. Bader goes on to say that if the factory is built, the majority of the Ain Dara residents will be migrating. The factory is located on a hill in the center of Daher el Daydar area. Nadine explained that this will cause a pollution umbrella of dust and gas that will extend to the entire area of Dahr Al-Baydar and neighboring villages.

The factory has not yet been built, yet Fattoush keeps lobbying for its opening and pressuring the municipality members through physical assaults and threats. The Ain Dara locals will not accept defeat and will not back down, the factory will not see the light of day .
Project Area (in hectares)500
Type of PopulationRural
Start Date17/05/2016
Relevant government actorsMinistry of Environment

Ministry of Industry

Fattouch construction company
Environmental justice organisations and other supportersAin Dara Municipality

Neighboring Municipalities

Ladies of Ain Dara

Ain Dara Green
The Conflict and the Mobilization
Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)HIGH (widespread, mass mobilization, violence, arrests, etc...)
When did the mobilization beginPREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups MobilizingLocal government/political parties
Forms of MobilizationArtistic and creative actions (eg guerilla theatre, murals)
Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Public campaigns
Street protest/marches
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Desertification/Drought, Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover
Potential: Air pollution, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality
Health ImpactsPotential: Other environmental related diseases
Otherasthma and other respiratory issue
Socio-economic ImpactsVisible: Loss of landscape/sense of place
Potential: Displacement
Project StatusUnknown
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseCorruption
Court decision (undecided)
Project temporarily suspended
Development of AlternativesNot to build the factory
Do you consider this as a success?Not Sure
Why? Explain briefly.though the factory has not yet been build the Fattouch family still has their quarries running and are still lobbying for the factory
Sources and Materials

{3}- Mt Lebanon factory set to operate despite controversy
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officials hardens stance against Mt Lebanon factory
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Mt.Lebanon cement factory fires back at critics
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plan to establish Ain Dara Cement factory
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the cement import "ban" and pollution
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{2}-Ain dara's mukhtar says that fattoush's building is a death factory
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{1}-Ain Dara residents protest Establishment of the cement factory
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Other Documents

protest 2 people rally together in face of injustice
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environmental injustice picture showing the infrastructure of the factory
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protest Ain dara resident gather to protest the building of the cement factory
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environmental injustice "Dahr Al- Baydr mountain turned into Dahr Al- Baydar plain" Akram Shayeb . Picture showing the effects of the quarries
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Meta Information
ContributorHussein Al- Mouallem and Mira Husseini
Last update04/07/2017