Lebanon is seeking a loan from the World Bank to address the severe pollution problem affecting the Litani River and the Qaraoun Lake.
The pollution of the vital river came up during a meeting between Lebanese Environment Minister Nasser Yassine and a delegation of the World Bank on Friday.
The attendees also communicated with representatives of the World Bank in the United States, with whom they discussed activating a $250-million loan to help clean up the Litani River.
The said river’s water is considered unsafe due to the presence of very large concentrations of coliforms and heat-resistant coliforms, exceeding 200,000 colonies/100 ml in some areas, whereas allowed concentrations do not exceed 1,000 colonies/100 ml.
Despite that, people have repeatedly been caught fishing from the river and the Qaraoun Lake, a reservoir of the same river.
The World Bank loan in question would also be used to establish purification stations for wastewater from factories and sewage, according to the Environment Ministry.
The Friday meeting also involved a discussion of environmental collaboration options, and of enhanced water management and purification, with a delegation of the French Development Agency.