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 wellFnyadek
- The Akkar forest of hairy oaks, Kamouaa: >>