Lebanon Businessnews News

Lake Qaraoun pollution prevention project
Awaiting approval of Cabinet and World Bank board
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Negotiations were concluded between the World Bank and the Government regarding a project to prevent pollution in Qaraoun Lake. The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) will fund the project with a budget of $50 million.

The project will focus on reducing the four sources of pollution, the first being municipal wastewater. Sewage networks will be extended and connected to wastewater treatment plants that are either functional or soon to be. This will optimize the functioning of the wastewater plant and ensure the sustainability of existing investments.

The second and third source of pollution, agriculture and solid waste, will be supported by capacity building and preparatory studies.

The fourth source of pollution, industrial wastewater, will be supported through the World Bank-funded Lebanon Environmental Pollution Abatement Project (LEPAP), under preparation. LEPAP provides a line of credit to give incentives to industries to reduce their pollution.

The project will primarily improve the collection of municipal sewage at a cost of $45 million. This will finance the increase of sewage collection in areas where wastewater treatment plants have already been constructed to maximize the utilization of investments already made. The villages include Kaa El Reem, Hazarta, Karak in the Greater Zahleh. This sewage network will be connected to the Zahleh Waste Water Treatment Plant, which has a capacity of 56,000 m3/day.

The project will increase the adoption of Integrated Pest Management practices, at a cost of $1.5 million, by building and strengthening the capacity of farmers in the project areas and reducing the application of chemical fertilizers. The emphasis will be on irrigated farms in the West Bekaa district, given the close proximity to Qaraoun Lake and to the main course of the Litani River immediately upstream from the lake.

The project will also fund capacity building, technical studies and project management with a value of $3.5 million.

The quantity of solid waste generated in villages located in the Upper Litani Catchment was estimated at 650 tons per day in 2011. This amount is likely to have increased substantially due to the influx of Syrian refugees, which has increased the population of this area by at least 50 percent.
Reported by Yassmine Alieh
Date Posted: Oct 14, 2014
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