Hariri: Litani River will be cleaned and we should all work on this

The President of the Council of Ministers Saad Hariri said that the Litani River Basin will become clean, and this requires that we all work together and at a rapid pace.

Hariri spoke this afternoon at the Grand Serail during a ceremony held for the presentation of the results of the plan to remove industrial pollution from Litani River: steps and measures taken, launched by the Minister of Industry Wael Abu Faour. The ceremony was attended by Deputy Speaker Elie Fereli, Ministers Jamal Jarrah, May Chidiac, and Fadi Jraissati and a number of MPs, Ambassadors, representatives of the diplomatic corps, general directors, governors and industrialists.

Hariri said: I would like to thank Minister of Industry for the work he is doing. The Litani River Basin will become clean, and I mean it.We have to implement the steps we have agreed on in the Council of Ministers and the committees that we held, both in Parliament and Council of Ministers. Frankly, the work is very slow. The ministry of Industry is doing a great job and the other ministries should accelerate the work, whether the ministries of Agriculture or Environment and the Litani River Authority that is working hard. But we must realize that it is a national mission, which is in the interest of all Lebanese. This project is not for the Bekaa but for all of Lebanon. Surely the Bekaa will benefit the most because the water is there, but today's situation needs to be addressed as soon as possible.

Hariri thanked Minister of Industry for the tangible progress, pointing that there should be joint work between the ministries because what pollutes the Litani River comes from agriculture, industrial materials, solid wastes, slaughterhouses and others.

He added: This is why we have to bear in mind to clean this vital river as soon as possible. A meeting was held in my office with the World Bank to provide us with the funds to continue the project faster, especially that the state pays interest up to 11, 12 and 13%, while the World Bank gives us loans with interest of 1 and 2%.

He said that this meeting will be held every three or six months to see the progress in this project, adding that what is important is to clean up the Litani River, because what is happening is not acceptable.

Hariri concluded: The Litani River should not be polluted. We should work day and night, and I have full confidence in the ministers of industry, environment and agriculture. I also want to thank Deputy Speaker Elie Firzli and all the MPs from all the political parties. In the end, no one can do the work alone, and we have all work together to save the Litani. All the administrations should work with the Litani River Authority, the World Bank, the Presidency of the Council of Ministers and Parliament to reach what we are looking for and to bring the Litani back to what it was in the past.

For his part, Minister Abu Faour promised to reach zero industrial pollution by the end of Summer, and asked Premier Hariri to demand all concerned ministries and departments to work seriously to stop the pollution of the Litani.

Source: National News Agency