In some areas whole families frolicked in the water while in others, parents swiftly carried their children away as they approached the banks. (The Daily Star/Mohammed Zaatari)
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Hasan Ezzeddine, the mayor of the southern Lebanese village of Zawtar Gharbieh, warned local people not to swim in the polluted Litani River and stop using it even to water their crops.According to tests conducted by the South Lebanon Water Authority, 37 percent of the river's water is polluted.Quarry owners in Marjayoun have taken to using the river's waters to wash the sand after it is excavated.Ezzeddine said as early as 2014 he had requested the authorities help prevent the pollution of the river.However, this is unlikely to fix the problem as other pollutants come from the Western Bekaa, where sewage is pumped from the Qaraoun area into the Litani.Ezzeddine said that the area's villages, local farmers' associations and environmental groups have come together with a singular purpose in mind: to clean the Litani.
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