This indiscriminate exploitation is represented by the presence of thousands of underground wells in the basins of the Authority, which drain the energy of the aquifer through overexploitation.
This dangerous phenomenon led to the destruction of many explosive springs and to a dangerous decrease in groundwater levels, followed by a decrease in surface water levels.
In the absence of oversight and the rule of law, hundreds of water pumping stations were established on the riverbeds and water points. These stations contributed to the disappearance of many springs and to the deterioration of many permanent rivers and the curtailment of their discharge.
|Measures||Responsbile Entity||The entity to be coordinated with|
|Domestic waste water||Ministry of Energy and Water||Council for Development and Reconstruction|
|Solid Wastes||The Ministry of Environment||Council for Development and Reconstruction|
|Industrial wastes||The Ministry of Environment||The Ministry of Industry|
|Pollution from the agricultural sector||Ministry Of Agriculture||The Ministry of Environment|
|Governance||Litani River Authority||All concerned parties|
Article 5 of Law No. 63 specified the total appropriations for each entity according to the table below, noting that these amounts are paid according to the schedule and program of payment appropriations that are noted annually in the budget:
|First: the Ministry of Energy||1068 billion LBP|
|Second: The Ministry of Industry||2 billion LBP|
|Third: The Ministry of Agriculture||2 billion LBP|
|Fourth: The Ministry of Environment||25 billion LBP|
|Fifth: The National Authority of the Litani River - Ministry of Energy and Water||3 billion L.L|
|No amount was transferred to the Litani Authority according to a statement issued by the Ministry of Energy and Water|
Thus, the role of the National Authority for the Litani River under Law 63 is limited to coordinating efforts between the various partners, and the reality of implementing Law 63 has turned from a health reality to save the river and raise pollution to a different reality that is equivalent to the waste of public money, as a result of the delay in implementing sanitation projects and refinery stations by the authorities. It is responsible for it according to Article 2 of Law 63, which threatened people’s health and led to the spread of epidemics in the Upper Litani Basin and the increase in cancerous diseases there, as evidenced by Ministry of Public Health figures and published scientific studies.
In addition, an amount of 55 million US dollars has been allocated under the project: “Reducing Pollution in Lake Qaraoun” based on a loan agreement to finance the project signed on September 2, 2016 between the Lebanese Republic represented by the Council for Development and Reconstruction and the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, and the publication of the two laws related to the loan (Laws 64 And 65) in the Official Gazette No. 52 dated 3/11/2016, and the main activity of the project is the construction of sewage water networks to deliver domestic wastewater to the refining stations. (90% of the project budget for the construction of sewage networks) and provides for secondary objectives consisting of working to reduce the use of fertilizers and agricultural pesticides that pollute the river, studies on solid waste management, supporting the process of monitoring water quality and building capacities of official institutions, including the National River Authority The Litani River and the Bekaa Water Corporation (10% of the project budget).
In terms of Law No. 64 related to approving a loan agreement for the project “Reducing Pollution of Lake Qaraoun”, it was mentioned in the World Bank’s report, which was reported to the National Authority of the Litani River, on the “semi-interim review of the project”, which confirms that the loan agreement allocated for the implementation of the project “Reducing pollution in Lake Qaraoun” has failed. At a value of 55 million US dollars.
The “Mid-Project Review” report implemented by the World Bank team in March 2020 concluded that the overall implementation of the project is not satisfactory given the significant delay in project implementation. And since the main activity of the project is the construction of sewage networks, the indicators in March 2020 were as follows:
The "Mid-Item Review of the Project" report highlighted several issues, the most important of which were (1) the poor management performance of the project, (2) the lengthy process of procurement of works and technical assistance activities, and (3) the lack of coordination between the concerned parties.
Thus, the worsening problem resulting from the continuous flow of sewage water from 69 towns in the Northern Bekaa, Middle Bekaa, and Western Bekaa to the Litani River and Qaraoun Lake, at a rate of 47 million cubic meters, is still causing waste of water and financial resources due to the failure of the concerned authorities in implementing Law No. 63 dated 27/ 10/2016, in addition to the failure to implement the projects noted in the loan amounting to 55 million US dollars under the “Reducing Pollution in Qaraoun Lake” project, and therefore all projects related to removing pollution from the Litani River are not proceeding in accordance with the program laws and loan agreements and within the specified deadlines and legal principles. And since the reality on the ground did not show any change or improvement in the water quality of Lake Qaraoun and the Litani River, nor progress in the implementation of refining stations, contrary to what was stated in the Council for Development and Reconstruction letter No. On the progress of the projects that the Council for Development and Reconstruction is assigned to implement within the scope of the Litani River Basin from the source to the estuary, and in the book of the Council for Development and Reconstruction No. 3627/1 dated 6/8/2019, the pleasures The National Authority of the Litani River has deposited information related to the two sewage stations in Al-Marj and Tamnin.
And in light of the adoption of central solutions for sewage treatment systems associated with defects in studies and designs, poor implementation, and the lack of sustainability of their operation due to the need for huge sources of energy and the lack of technical and financial capabilities to operate them by the Bekaa Water Corporation, in addition to the continued connection of rainwater networks and the transfer of industrial waste to those The networks leading to the refining stations, and the failure to treat that water as a result of all this, and the lack of validity of the treated water to mix with the water medium and thus its unsuitability for irrigation, and the absence of periodic monitoring of the quality of the water coming out of it, and in the face of this difficult reality, the National Authority of the Litani River has reservations about what It was included in the draft directive plan for the districts of Zahle, Western Bekaa and Rashaya in terms of using the water coming out of the refining stations for irrigation purposes, because the operation of these stations is not sustainable and there are no approved local scientific standards to determine the quality of that water for irrigation of crops, and therefore the water coming out of these stations is not suitable for mixing with water media.
And after a series of reviews and correspondences directed by the National Authority of the Litani River, according to the tasks of governance and coordination of efforts entrusted to it regarding the implementation of Law No. 63 of 10/27/2016 and about the implementation of Law No. 64 of November 3, 2016 related to the approval of a loan agreement for the project “Reducing Pollution of Lake Qaraoun” The works did not progress, and no efforts were made, neither in wastewater treatment nor in starting works to implement projects within the specified time limits.
Therefore, on 11/5/2020, the National Authority of the Litani River sent a letter to the Council for Development and Reconstruction, including a request to transfer the budget of the National Authority of the Litani River (about 700 thousand US dollars) within the project “Reducing Pollution of Qaraoun Lake” stipulated in the loan agreement in the amount of 55 million US dollars between the Lebanese Republic represented by the Council for Development and Reconstruction and the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development - Law No. 64/2016 for the implementation of other works, especially with regard to the construction of more sewage networks and linking the networks that flow into the Litani River with the operating refineries in Zahle, Jib Jenin and Saghbine, otherwise to operate refineries.
It should be noted that the existing refining plants in the upper basin of the Litani River suffer from a huge weakness in the ability to operate and treat technically and financially by the Bekaa Water Corporation, and the Zahle refining plant is threatened with stopping due to the lack of funds for its operation by the Council for Development and Reconstruction and the Bekaa Water Corporation. The National Authority of the Litani River sent a series of books to the Ministries of Finance, Interior and Municipalities, Energy and Water, Environment and the General Secretariat of the Council of Ministers, requesting immediate action to secure the necessary funds to ensure the sustainability of the operation and maintenance of the sewage treatment plant affiliated to the city of Zahle by the Council for Development and Reconstruction or the Water Corporation. Bekaa, in order to avoid an environmental and health disaster that would add to the suffering of the residents of the upper basin of the Litani River, especially since in the event that the current management contract is not renewed or other solutions are found, 18 thousand cubic meters per day of wastewater coming from the residential areas of the city of Zahle will flow without treatment, which will constitute An environmental catastrophe for the waters of the Litani River and Lake Qaraoun adds to the environmental situation, noting that the cost of building the Zahle power plant amounted to 36.8 million US dollars. The operation of the station would be tantamount to a waste of public money and of water and environmental resources.
Note that the technical teams in the Authority monitor a huge defect in the operation of the two stations of Saghbin and Jib Jenin, which the Bekaa Water Corporation has outsourced their management and operation, which raises questions about the money wasted on operating these stations!!
In light of combating the pollution of the Litani River, and since the direct transfer of untreated industrial waste into the course of the Litani River is one of the most important causes of pollution in the river, the technical teams affiliated with the National Authority of the Litani River continue to periodically inspect the industrial establishments located within the Litani River basin area, with the aim of enforcing environmental commitment. Licensing and monitoring industrial facilities in the management of solid and liquid waste generated therefrom. The authority's technical teams prepare technical reports and document any infringement by taking coordinates and photos/videos with the aim of taking the necessary action after directing letters to the responsible authorities.
|Status of the industrial enterprise||Number|
|Environmentally compatible factories (a matching treatment unit has been established, but it needs periodic inspection)||56|
|Environmentally non-compliant factories (a treatment unit has not been established or a treatment unit has been established and is awaiting proof of conformity of the samples to the specifications) and disciplinary administrative measures have been taken against them||63|
|Judicial follow-up factories that were also inspected by the committee (in the process of environmental commitment)||59|
|Factories with sewage similar to domestic sewage (uncontaminated)||13|
|Closed / non-existing factories||5|
The problem of random dumps on the banks of the Litani River has become exacerbated significantly, as it has been found that waste generated from some towns within the scope of the Litani River basin is dumped and collected in random solid waste dumps within locations close to winter streams that lead to the course of the Litani River, which threatens the nature of The course and water quality of the Litani River.
Therefore, the technical teams affiliated with the Litani River Authority carry out periodic inspections in order to monitor any infringement. The Authority submits a complaint to the Financial Public Prosecution against all that the investigation shows as an actor or partner in establishing or throwing random waste on public and private property and polluting the waters of the Litani River, in addition to directing letters to the Ministry of Environment and the Ministry of Interior and Municipalities to request that the necessary measures be taken and prevent the random dumping of waste.
The Litani River Authority is also depositing books with the Financial Crimes Office on the environmental and legal reality of a random dumping ground for solid waste, as part of a follow-up to the complaint submitted by the National Authority of the Litani River before the Financial Public Prosecution on charges of polluting the Litani River and public property.
The situation of sands and cruchers in the Litani River Basin
Within the framework of the Litani River National Authority’s endeavor to combat pollution and stop encroachments on the river, the Authority submitted a notification to the Financial Public Prosecution in the face of all the investors of rock quarries and gravel and sand pits in the Rihan and Al-Aishiyeh mountains classified as natural sites and due to the disposal of liquid and solid waste in the course of the Litani River. A series of procedures were directed to the National Council for Quarries and Quarries, the Ministry of Energy and Water, the Ministry of Interior and Municipalities, the Governor of the South and the Financial and Discrimination Public Prosecution, according to which they requested stopping the work of sanders in the Rihan and Al-Aishiyyah mountains, as they are in sites classified as natural sites and in a watery environment that flows into the Litani River and dumps waste.
The authority submitted books attached to a technical report, the solid and liquid resulting from it in the course of the river in a way that negatively affects the water system and the characteristics of the river environment and its waters. As the sands and crushers, in addition to the pollution and turbidity they cause in the river, increase sedimentation (it reached about 60 cm at the Tahrir Bridge) and deprive the residents of irrigation and disrupt the Al-Taybeh refinery and cause losses to the owners of the parks located on the banks of the Litani River.
A decision was issued by the Ministry of Environment and the judge to stop all quarries and crushers in the Al-Aishiya real estate district of Jezzine, based on the referral of the governor of the south, the letter of the National Authority of the Litani River, and the field inspection of the Ministry of Environment, where it was found that there were violations of the technical and environmental conditions for licensing and investing sands and crushers.
It should be noted that the Ministry of Energy and Water prepared a technical report that denies any kind of pollution or damage resulting from drilling rigs, which contradicts reality and science. Accordingly, the National Authority of the Litani River sent a letter to the Ministry of Energy, calling for an investigation to be opened on this report, which includes scientific and legal inaccuracies, and to take the necessary measures.
The Authority submitted a new report to the Financial Public Prosecution in the face of a number of investors and the soil partnership, as well as in the face of a number of employees in the Ministries of Environment, Energy and Water, related to the infringement of water and environmental resources considered public property by issuing licenses to invest in quarries and quarrying in the mountains of Al-Aishiyyah and related to the commission of some members of the Council The National Quarries and Crushers Company has legal and financial violations related to giving approvals to invest in sand pits in the Al-Aishiyeh Mountains, despite their proven impact on water and environmental resources and the lack of environmental and legal conditions according to an official report.
The Authority followed up on the issue of sands and crushers, and sent a letter to the Ministry of Interior and Municipalities on 1/23/2020 requesting the transfer of all requests it receives regarding the transfer of gravel and sand from sand and gravel pits that are suspended or closed by an administrative or judicial decision due to its impact on the Litani River and any approval. In this regard, it is considered a violation of Decree No. 8803 dated 4/10/2002 and its amendments (regulating quarries and quarries) and constitutes a cover for a new investment.
On February 13, 2020, the National Authority of the Litani River sent letters to each of the Ministers of Finance, Energy, Water, Environment and Interior, requesting the application of Article 61 of Law No. 144 issued on July 31, 2019, the general budget and the appended budgets for the year 2019, which requires the prosecution of every person who invested in real estate as a quarry or A sander or crusher, without a legal license or in contravention of the license granted to him until he pays all taxes, fees, and allowances due for all years of investment starting from 2004 and fulfills all the obligations incumbent upon him to raise the environmental damage he caused, and thus stops all investment requests and transfers of stock in the Litani River Basin Until the implementation of the aforementioned text and the obligation of its owners to fulfill all the obligations aimed at eliminating environmental damage, thus achieving environmental justice in the Litani River Basin, and the Authority indicated in its books that allowing the withdrawal of the extracted quantities without a license or in violation of the license or with illegal approvals would prevent the application of the text of Article 61 of the The budget law would waste public funds and exacerbate environmental damage.
On July 9, 2020, a decree was issued specifying the details of applying Article 61 of the 2019 Budget Law related to conducting a survey of quarries and crushers and imposing investment fees on the quantities extracted starting from the year 2004.
And after the issuance of Council of Ministers Resolution No. 2 of the date of 7/2/2020, which includes approval of the disposal and transportation of the output in quarries and quarries in which sand, gravel or rock stocks are present on the date of issuance of this decision for a maximum period of two months from its date, and the letter of His Excellency the Minister of Interior and Municipalities No. 10751 of the date 6 July 2020, which included defining an administrative framework for implementing the above-mentioned cabinet decision and defining its implementation mechanism in order to avoid environmental damage. In the absence of any clear mechanism, the Ministry of Interior and Municipalities referred all requests for the transfer of slate from gravel and powder in the Litani River basin to the National Authority of the Litani River, which took over the scavenging. Technical and topographical elevation to prevent the exploitation of these licenses for reinvestment and extraction. As a result, the interest in expressing opinions ended with emphasizing the content of the letter of His Excellency the Minister of Interior and Municipalities No. 10751 dated July 6, 2020, which stipulates that the approvals must include the following items:
In addition, the following additional conditions must be imposed:
Organizing withdrawal and receipt permissions signed from the withdrawal site and from the receiving site to ensure adherence to the quantity that you deem appropriate within the limits of the licensed investment, provided that these permissions are signed by the concerned security forces (not the municipality) pursuant to the content of the letter of His Excellency the Minister of Interior and Municipalities No. 10751 dated July 6, 2020, provided that The permit includes the date, the truck registration number, the name of the driver, the load, the receiving location, the delivery location, and the time of departure. It is approved as a permit during transportation, and has serial numbers and is signed by the concerned security authority, in order to ensure that no extraction works are carried out.
Within the framework of rehabilitating the environment, the National Authority of the Litani River removed bridges based on ferries located below the Al-Aishiyeh Mountains in the Khardali area (Al-Tahrir Bridge and Al-Khardali Bridge), which were used to secure the passage of trucks loaded with materials extracted in violation of the law, and caused the accumulation of sand and sediment behind them. Its thickness in both locations was about 60 centimeters and a length of more than 6 km. The authority also raised the extraction output from the riverbed and banks, and rehabilitated and planted the banks.
The random displaced persons camps scattered along the Litani River constitute a significant source of pollution. Most of the displaced Syrian camps residing within the camps and gatherings on the banks of the Litani River divert the liquid and solid waste resulting from them directly into the course of the Litani River and its tributaries, as well as into the irrigation projects of the National Authority for the Litani River. .
Due to the lack of response from each of the authorities concerned with the Syrian displacement file, the National Authority of the Litani River submitted, on March 19, 2019, a notification to the Financial Public Prosecution in the face of the bodies that sponsor 17 Lebanese and international associations concerned with the affairs of the displaced (displaced camps), and it was found that a number of them set up camps on property riverine and in the public domain.
Then, a number of associations began to equip the camps in the central Bekaa with networks and storage tanks for wastewater, to be emptied by local contractors at the Jib Jenin purification plant, but it was not clear to what extent these contractors adhere to the emptying dates and the place of emptying the tanks.
In keeping with the process of combating pollution, the National Authority of the Litani River continues to monitor the environmental violations occurring in the Litani River basin by livestock and poultry farms. The results of the inspections on farms and/or slaughterhouses (whether licensed or unlicensed) revealed the chaos and chaos of the farms and slaughterhouses sector in the Litani River basin, which led to massive environmental pollution and damage resulting from the random throwing and transfer of liquid waste (cow dung, blood...) and solid waste. of all kinds (dead animals) in open lands and/or into the Litani River without prior treatment.
Most of the farms/slaughterhouses located within the Litani River basin exist in contradiction to:
Lebanese law through Resolution 7060 / T issued by the Ministry of Industry in the Official Gazette on 5/17/2018, the foundations upon which existing slaughterhouses must be based and binding procedures for the owners of existing and licensed livestock and poultry slaughterhouses, which included several points (estimating the volume of liquid waste (m3/day) Equipping the slaughterhouse with a station for treating liquid waste, taking samples and analyzing them, designing the station and offering its implementation to guide the owners of the slaughterhouses within a maximum period of 4 months from the date of notification to the stakeholders and implementing the station within a year from the date of their notification. Existing and unlicensed slaughterhouses submit a license request to the Ministry of Industry within a period Not exceeding 3 months from the date of their notification, solid waste treatment or disposal using environmentally appropriate methods...)
The National Authority of the Litani River submitted letters with technical statements to the Ministry of Interior and Municipalities and the Ministry of Environment requesting that the Governor of the South be assigned to take restraining measures against more than 10 farmers (chicken and goats) in the Al-Aishiyeh and Al-Rayhan Mountains, which affect the water quality and pollute the waterways that flow into Litani River.
The National Authority of the Litani River sent two letters to each of the Ministry of Industry and the Ministry of the Environment requesting that environmental compliance be imposed on 8 slaughterhouses located within the scope of the town of Badnayel and more than 24 farms in the Bekaa Valley after the encroachment on the environmental and water environments in the upper basin of the Litani River by throwing Random disposal of waste resulting from it in the course of the Litani River.
It also called for immediate and urgent measures to be taken to reduce the pollution emanating from it, and to assign those who are required to inspect these slaughterhouses to enforce the environmental conditions stipulated in the decisions issued by the Ministries of Environment and Industry.
The National Authority of the Litani River also submitted complaints to the Financial Public Prosecution regarding the polluted slaughterhouses/farms located within the Litani River Basin area, and is being followed up with the Financial Crimes Office in order to enforce compliance and reduce pollution.
The Authority conducts a comprehensive survey of all encroachments on the expropriation campus of the National Authority for the Litani River, in the upper and lower basins. A large number of these encroachments have been removed in all projects, especially for the Qasimia Canal project, in addition to the removal of sewage networks that flow into the canal and pollute the irrigation water. The authority follows up the encroachments on water resources and the Litani River, and the interest is expropriated with the governors of the Bekaa Valley, the South, Nabatiyeh and Baalbek.