Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri Monday sponsored the signing of a deal to establish a treatment plant for waste from one of Lebanon’s largest dairy farms.
He lauded the move as a crucial step toward cleaning up the notoriously polluted Litani River.
According to a statement from Hariri’s office, Livestock Water Recycling a Canada-based environmental company that focuses on livestock manure management will work to establish the plant at Liban Lait’s facilities in the Bekaa Valley, in cooperation with the Lebanese Environmental Pollution Abatement Project.
The project, valued at $2 million, will benefit from loans granted by Lebanon’s Central Bank and other national banks because of its environmental benefits, Hariri said at the signing ceremony, according to the statement.
“We need to clean [up] the Litani River … and [the treatment plant] is a good step in this direction,” he was quoted as saying.
He said the pollution “epidemic” in the Bekaa Valley, where the river begins before flowing south, would be one of the upcoming government’s “most important projects.”
Fadi Fawaz, an adviser to Hariri, said the establishment of the treatment plant was an important step in addressing the country’s environmental issues and was the result of cooperation between a number of ministries as well as local and international donors.
Mohamed Zeidan, chairman of the board of directors of Liban Lait, said his company has been working with the American University of Beirut since 2005 to address its role in polluting the river. But “the Israeli aggression in 2006 prevented the success of the project,” he said, referring to the bombing of the farm during Israel’s war on Lebanon that year.
The ceremony was also attended by the heads of the LWR and LEPAP, Italian Ambassador to Lebanon Massimo Marotti, and representatives from Lebanese banks, the World Bank and the UNDP, among others.
The Daily Star