The Director General of Litani River Authority Sami Alawieh said that about a thousand hectares of agricultural lands as well as weedk fields are irrigated with sewage water that pollutes the Litani.
Alawieh said in an interview with “Al-Hurra” channel, that they “discovered in Bar Elias huge areas of parsley, and the most dangerous are the leafy greens that are irrigated with sewage water.”
Alawieh said that since the nineties of the last century, more than $800 million have been spent on the sewage networks and stations in the Litani Basin, however only seven percent of the sewage water are being treated so far.
Alawieh explained that the sewage networks of 69 towns flow into the Litani River, which flows into Qaraoun Lake, and about 46 million cubic meters, including two million cubic meters, sourced from tanks and toilettes for the displaced Syrians, which are then emptied, by some contractors who have contracts with refugee organizations.
Alawieh said it is estimated that around 170,000 people receive polluted water from the Litani, which is treated by the Bekaa Water Establishment, wondering, “Is chlorine treatment the solution?” He said that “some heavy metals when mixed with chlorine turn to become carcinogenic.”
He pointed out that hundreds of people in Bar Elian are dying from cancer.
As for the percentage of polluted water in Lebanon, Alawieh said that usable water represents only around a third of the water available for use. Outside the Litani Basin, 30 percent of the water is polluted. As for the Litani Basin, all the water in the upper basin of the Litani River, which is one-fifth of Lebanon, is polluted.”