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Council of Ministers passes Qaraoun pollution prevention loan
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The Council of Ministers approved today a loan agreement with the World Bank regarding a project to prevent pollution in Qaraoun Lake.

The project, valued at $55 million, 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 sources 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). 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, and Karak in Greater Zahleh. This sewage network will be connected to the Zahleh Waste Water Treatment Plant, which has a capacity of 56,000 cubic meters per day.

The project will increase the adoption of Integrated Pest Management practices, 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 their 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.
Reported by Yassmine Alieh
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Date Posted: Feb 02, 2016