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Panoramic Views > North > Akkar > Forest Kamouaa

The Akkar forest of hairy oaks, Kamouaa

Kamouaa is considered an important tourist centre in the North Lebanon district of Akkar. The surrounding heights rise to 2,454 metres and there are forests that are remarkable because of the abundance of such trees as junipers, hairy oaks, cypresses, cedars and Cilician firs. Judging by the cedars to be found there, geologists say that these historic forests are at least a thousand years old. The plains of Kamouaa lie at 1,450 metres altitude in a sort of depression between the mountains. The Government has decided to create a lake there for two reasons, first, to ensure a supply of water for irrigating the wild “jurd” and, second, to add to the charm of the region.

The lake will receive water from a hydraulic basin of 12 km. square, the quantity being estimated at 12 million cubic metres per year, of which 4 million will evaporate, 5 million will be absorbed by the ground, 2 million will be lost in the ravines and 1 million will be stocked in the lake.

The surface of this lake will be 50,000 metres square and the volume of water will be one million cubic metres. Between 100 and 150 hectares of land will be irrigated. This project is in course of execution but is not yet finished. Despite this, the number of visitors come to admire the natural scenery is already causing traffic hold-ups. It is thought that the lake and the village will constitute a very important centre of attraction, especially after the execution of the main road linking Berkayel, Fnaydek and Kamouaa.

From the point of view of the forests, Kamouaa is the most important region of Lebanon. It covers 30 kilometres by 25, from the valley of Gehanam to the sources of Kobayat, and from the source of Fnaydek to that of the Nassarahs of Koubayat. This forest has more than 10 million trees of fifty different species, the most important of these including the junipers, cedars, and Cilician firs.
The forest has suffered considerable damage throughout its history, first of all at the hands of the British, who cut down a great number of the trees in order to use their trunks as sleepers under the railway linking Lebanon’s North and South.

Specialists, including ecologists, who have visited it insist that the forest of hairy oaks is to be counted among the most beautiful forests in the world. It stands at an altitude of 1,600 metres and is considered unique in its charm as an ecological and tourist centre. It is named after the more than 4,000 hairy oaks that grow among a carpet of sweet marjolam and some 100 other varieties of wild flower. This particular tree is of outstanding interest, for a square kilometre of hairy oak forest gives off 600 tons of oxygen per year and absorbs more than 700 tons of carbon dioxide gas.

Check as well Fnyadek

- The Akkar forest of hairy oaks, Kamouaa: >> View Movie << (2003-07-01)



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