Due to decades of neglect and mismanagement, the river has become heavily polluted. “Today millions of cubic meters of raw sewage flow directly into the Litani River. You might have heard of Litani river; one of the largest rivers in Lebanon in length and width, with a length reaching 170 Km and a water capacity of 750 m3 per year. Her work appears online both on LBCI and on her personal blog, NewsroomNomad©. Water pollution is a major problem in Lebanon, which is has been exacerbated lately. Levels somewhat improved in 2015, only to stagnate in 2016 due to declining precipitation. However, surface water sources are most exploited, and more certainly the water from rivers. Your email address will not be published. Touristic sites along its banks have also been affected due to a drop in river levels. Islam News – Beirut – The 140 km long Litani river in Lebanon is suffering from a high degree of pollution due to anarchic exploitation and abuse of water resources.In a recent report, the ‘National Authority of the Litani River’ rang the alarm bell to the Lebanese government. Renewed efforts by Litani River Authority (LRA) to rehabilitate the river are back in the news. The Litani River turned into a river of garbage with the situation of pollution becoming unbearable. This has and will continue to directly impact agriculture, with some saying that crop production in Lebanon could even cease to exist in just a few years’ time if the problem persists. The once roaring waters of Litani River are choking in feces. “On the one hand drought conditions in recent years due to lower precipitation have decreased water availability, while on the other hand the unprecedented number of displaced Syrians in the Bekaa region has increased the demand for water,” Moussalem explains. She most recently worked as StepFeed's Senior Editor. Abstract Water pollution is a major problem in Lebanon, which is has been exacerbated lately. In spite of the efforts of the Lebanese government aided by international development programmes to control pollution in and around the Litani River Basin, the problem has become more severe as urbanisation planning and effective wastewater and solid waste management are still lacking. Twenty years ago, the river started to get severely polluted due to factories and household wastes being dumped in the stream in the river causing many health problems for locals people in Bar Elias used to drink and swim in the Litani River. The lake witnessed a significant drop in 2014; 24 meters to be exact. Is it not clean? Chronic pollution in Litani and Lake Qaraoun: Major threat to public health, irrigation, and agriculture, These two Lebanese men are literally climbing mountains to raise money for abused kids, A Long Way Home: Keffiyehs, coffee and wartime reminiscence in Beirut, Is it clean? “We are facing a very dire situation … We have less water available but demand keeps growing. Pollution levels in the lake are increasing environmental woes and dead fish can now be seen floating on its surface and littering its shores. Study Area. Before that, she was the news editor and resident blogger for the Lebanese Broadcasting Corporation International [LBCI] and has held several positions with well-known media outlets both locally and internationally. The smell reveals its origin and contents: raw sewage, … A series of actions pursued by the Litani River Authority (LRA) have built momentum, producing an unexpected change in Lebanon’s lingering water pollution crisis. h�ԕmk�@ǿ�>A��lC1�n�(�a���%�陳ٷ��>�~�zt����-]$�$��j�8́���X��!_\sk�:��? The Litani River presents an example of the influence of urbanisation on water quality in Lebanon. Water quality of Litani River’s at Quaraoun Lake station in Lebanon was evaluated by measuring various physicochemical parameters between 2008 and 2018. h�243U0P���w�/�+Q0��,H��/-���K-��0 �] � Cleaning the Litani River is a “national mission,” Prime Minister Saad Hariri said Tuesday after results from a project combating industrial pollution were presented by the Industry Ministry. Irrigation and fish farms along the river are also being threatened due to its pollution. In April 2018, the Lebanese Agricultural Research Institute (LARI) officially asked all farmers—particularly those in central Bekaa from Riyaq down to Qaraoun—to not use the water for irrigation because pollution levels were so high. To protect the Litani from widespread pollution, the LRA initiated legal actions which lead to the prosecution of different stakeholders for polluting this river. The residents of the neighboring town of Bar Elias raised their voice and staged a … But levels are dropping and pollution is threatening what precious water remains. Previous governments have made proposals on the need to clean up the Litani and its basin, but ultimately, the problem can only be solved by addressing the reasons that have left the environment in such a dire state. Bad odors fill the area. The Litani River has been lately subjected to several aspects of deterioration in its quality. There are nearly 146 farms — 72 of which are in the Central Bekaa, 68 in the Western Bekaa, and 5 in Baalbek — that use the polluted water of the Litani to irrigate crops such as wheat, potatoes, and various other vegetables and fruit. Environment. Consequently, people began to mobilize against the pollution in the village in Fall 2016 after the local organizations, clubs, and the National Committee to Save the Litani River called for action against the pollution. The World Bank has also approved a $55 million loan for Lebanon to clean up the river in what will be the first step in a larger effort estimated to reach US $250 million. Residents complained that neighboring towns were dumping sewage into the river, causing a putrid odor and groundwater contamination. Required fields are marked *. The head of the Authority, Sami Alawiyeh, directed a letter yesterday to Baalbaq-Hermel mayor, Bashir Khudr, asking him to press “Alban Lubnan” company to treat and clean the 6-km waterway which it occupies (around the towns of Howsh Sneid, Howsh Ghanam, Howsh Rafqa and Howsh Nabi) ?d8�}� �~D��t��X� hvuC,>�x��‚u�/�������Qs�*H,�R���}���|� :.� &���Hӡ���6����ky��y���oM�X��_��A�sN������ J����7m�Е��A[��W��� 48z 2. Abstract Water pollution is a major problem in Lebanon, which is has been exacerbated lately. Other priority demands are also unmet (for example, Crop farms, dairy farms, and numerous factories in turn produce sewage and waste, as well as chemicals and animal carcasses, which are then dumped directly in the river and indirectly into our plates. The project will construct sewage networks and connect them to wastewater treatment plants (such as Zahlé) so that sewage gets treated before it is discharged in the Litani. Corruption is no major secret in the country and it’s extremely vital that people are made aware of the consequences of their actions and of their power to change. However, surface water sources are most exploited, and more certainly the water from rivers. In a context where agriculture dominates the Litani river basin, agricultural chemicals and non-degradable pesticides constitute another major source of river pollution. Efforts must include awareness raising programs that will incentivize farm and factory owners to make the much needed adjustments. h޼W�n�8���I�IE�m�4�&m6M4�>����؅���3#��-���@�H�6�3:��`"�h��Do��܁��`�­2�$��~̌�~��cH\q�S�]D�g�gq7@��d f�+�A3Y� 9����+ސ��0�5ϟO^NW��b^N��^�����pz[|]'���r�z~�����b��|Ul����⼛|��Z���O.����V����sw��ڬ{�,f���w��m��g��ZG2`����wz=��6j�c���X�$][VO��Je,��!B��k�V��!V0z��u�2����%��&m���s�Ȫ�F#֫����œ� �|6��2f�DB�����|^�σ�X�c���A[���~�|���ͳӼ�~����l�8x����-�#)�}�2�R�c�����'�C�8�m��n�u��M��eI�@ %6�dB���S�7�Gn%v�N��qN�ϙ�x�Ozh!Q{�BJd�יYe�8��W�IG�)|bYV�`��� �v��N�G&�N�|I�†Y���h���$����n$�]��v���{x���h�L�e'��Af�03�?����������H��_��Ɲ� IR�(f* ;�x�b�ӯ�?�NC��݃bH�Y�,����a.�F ��τjv�F���B�.`x+]r��N>��9) ���;�K�:��7�f��ȬY��%�m��J�Xe�|���к���f��'�W!�X9��F�rN�vo��a8/��|�>��|q7��}Ԁsz1��F�G. However, surface water sources are most exploited, and more certainly the water from rivers. Most ignored him. By Dr. Haytham Mouzahem – Appeared first in Globally Today |. Further utilisation of the water resources requires a systematic approach to treating wastewater. To change this reality, populations around the river must be made aware of the consequences of their actions. If we fail to do so, we will sink further in debt; in pollution; and in water scarcity. According to the Litani River Authority, the level of pollution has caused, in an unprecedented way, a rise in cancer cases in the towns and villages surrounding the River. Effluents and waste released by factories producing agricultural and animal products (cheese factories/ canned food/ sanitary tissues/ sugar mills/ poultry farms/ slaughterhouses…). The Litani River, the largest river in Lebanon, faces a multitude of environmental problems. Hasan Ezzeddine, the mayor of the southern Lebanese village of Zawtar Gharbieh, warned local people not to swim in the polluted Litani River and stop using it even to water their crops. Polluted Litani River Photo Credits: Gettyimages/JosephEid There are over 150 farms using Litani’s polluted water to irrigate crops even though the Litani is no longer suitable for swimming or irrigation. In summer, the Litani River shows a meager flow, much decreased from 40 years ago. But is that enough? Yes, the problem is in large part administrative and infrastructural, but much of the fault lies in lack of awareness. %PDF-1.7 %���� The Litani River has been lately subjected to several aspects of deterioration in its quality. Another sad incidence is the restriction of the use of the Qaraoun Lake for fishing because of an overwhelming presence of heavy metal from industrial effluents. Main pollutants: The wastewater and wastes released from the cities and residences into the river courses. Lebanese minister: Litani river pollution a "national catastrophe" The owner of the industry Waël Bou Faour hopes for urgent measures to stem the crisis. The Litani River (Arabic: نهر الليطاني ‎, Nahr al-Līṭānī), the classical Leontes (Greek: Λέοντες, Léontes, lit. “In these conditions, we cannot afford to further degrade our water and need to conserve every drop we have.”. The main contributors to the degradation of Litani River are industrial pollution from factories and slaughterhouse, untreated sewage, chemicals from agriculture runoffs and disposal of municipal waste. With the Lebanese government’s track record in failing to produce the much needed results even (read: especially) when loans and funds are available, I fear the worst. The 12 square km sized lake was designed with a capacity to store 220 million cubic meters of water, and has become the irrigation source of 30 percent of the country’s lands. The Litani River Basin is today experiencing increasing water demands, groundwater over- exploitation, and extensive pollution. The root cause of the problem, which begins with lack of awareness and ends in infrastructure, must be addressed. This is not sustainable,” Director General of the Bekaa Water Establishment, Maroun Moussallem says. In remarks to Asharq Al-Awsat, head of the Authority Sami Alawieh welcomed the Industry Ministry’s decision but said it should take practical steps to close down the factories. It originates in the Bekaa Valley from the Oleik spring (approximately 1,000 MASL) west of the ancient city of Baalbeck flowing southward then westward until it discharges into the Mediterranean Sea near the city Tyre. As Lebanon continues to struggle under the weight of a myriad environmental crises, which include but are not limited to desertification, deforestation, and waste mismanagement; water scarcity and rising levels of toxins in sources of irrigation are now surfacing as a major cause of concern especially in Lake Qaraoun and the Litani River –two of the country’s major arteries. They urged the government to enact measures to stop and prevent pollution endstream endobj 176 0 obj <>stream The main contributors to the degradation of Litani River are industrial pollution from factories and slaughterhouse, untreated sewage, chemicals from agriculture runoffs and disposal of municipal waste. The largest river in Lebanon, the Litani River Basin (LRB) is equivalent to 20 percent of Lebanon’s land area and winds through the Bekaa Valley and south Lebanon. Nadine Mazloum is an Australian born, Beirut bred multimedia journalist, editor, and blogger. This includes vegetables and fruits, which on the surface appear fresh and bright, but in reality are full of poisons and pollutants. Water security is a very important purpose facing the world in the last decay as one of the main consequences related to the risks of climate change. But will the Lebanese government, and the people, address this issue in time? Bekaa residents protest Litani River pollution The planned opening of a wastewater treatment plant in Zahle is a positive step, but much more must be done to clean up the river. 174 0 obj <>stream Cabinet has agreed to form a ministerial committee to address the issue in coordination with the Internal Security Forces. The Litani River is Lebanon's longest and largest river flowing entirely within its boundaries. The rise in demand and increase in pollution are adding fuel to the fire, with experts fearing the worst. Most of the “fresh food” we consume today is produced in the Bekaa valley. This “famous” river is contaminated, and needs to be cleaned up, and Litani river pollution has been one of the main highlighted topics in the news over the past weeks. The main sources of pollution are apalling, and can be summarized as: untreated municipal and industrial wastewater as well as dumping of solid waste along the river banks. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f17mYt3r0cE. Lebanon races against the clock to save Litani from death by pollution Environmentalists and experts say the waters are invaded by household and industrial waste. The source of Lake Qaraoun, the Litani River (meaning: Lions in Greek) –which rises in the Bekaa and empties into the Mediterranean Sea north of Tyre– has changed its colors over the years from crystal blue to murky brown, threatening populations over its 140 km stretch. Samples were performed and analyzed the first of every month. The Litani River, the largest river in Lebanon, faces a multitude of environmental problems. River pollution remedy The government's plan to address Litani River pollution is to be implemented in three phases: addressing immediate and quick solutions, then medium-term solutions and finally a long-term sustainable solution phase. In 2014, the Lebanese government put in place a $730 million proposal in a bid to clean up the catastrophic pollution of the Litani River and Qaraoun Lake and prevent future contamination. Lake Qaraoun –one of Lebanon’s biggest man-made water bodies formed by a dam on the Litani River in the Western Bekaa– was created in 1959 as part of an effort to provide water and hydroelectricity to nearby populations. Years of neglect manifested in the dumping of industrial and quarry waste, and fecal matter have turned 37 percent of its water into a brownish muck, making it no longer suitable for swimming or irrigation, and affecting farmers and residents of the Bekaa and south Lebanon who rely on the river. This includes the major physiochemical characteristics. On the other hand, the Nahr Ibrahim River and Litani River are regarded as the two most polluted rivers in Lebanon. Man-made wells are slowing down the process, but it’s not enough. *Q3i�%��ɖܾ��2��kc^�8�ښd�VS�f(�V�����}kSۓۙC��uyU�?��Q�(M���Y�M��7��ǭ�"�lVs�ջ�G�+Z���Z�֒���2x����ِ�ݜ�ܐ�|6ٖ���������#�`�k��J��&�I�ǩ��_���M�~&��Q�I0DE���b/����e������_��� �R\#a�i�q��7�b�9��=^[��2�9�! Your email address will not be published. Sustainable utilisation of the water resources in the Litani is critical. Cancer rates increased dramatically in the last years. Locals residents from the Bekaa Valley town of Hawsh al-Rafqa Monday briefly blocked the main road to their village, protesting against the pollution of the Litani River. The source of Lake Qaraoun, the Litani River (meaning: Lions in Greek) –which rises in the Bekaa and empties into the Mediterranean Sea north of Tyre– has changed its colors over the years from crystal blue to murky brown, threatening populations over its 140 km stretch. That way, not only [do we] we reduce the pollution entering the river but make treated water available for irrigation” explains Maria Sarraf, World Bank Lead Environment Specialist and Project Team Leader. Public health, and major economic and environmental losses are now a great concern for farmers, owners of restaurants and various businesses, and many are starting to protest and call on the government to provide compensation. Current pollution levels in the river are so high that utilisable flow is zero in all years. The Daily Star reported that this seven-year plan was meant to expand sewage treatment networks, manage solid waste and pesticide pollution, and help factories reduce the dumping of chemicals into the water. The issue is as old as any other problem in the country and past efforts have yielded little results. endstream endobj 175 0 obj <>stream Due to decades of neglect and mismanagement, the river has become heavily polluted. 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litani river pollution

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