The Litani river is seen from the Western Bekaa village of Saghbin, Saturday, March 2, 2013. (The Daily Star/Hasan Shaaban)
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The Environment Ministry announced it will soon launch a roadmap for cleaning up the Litani River as progress on the major environmental issue stagnated again after the summer's flurry of activity. The road map will encompass the 165 Lebanese towns affected by the pollution of the heavily contaminated Litani River. The news of the minister's proposed plan comes two months after the World Bank board of directors announced the approval of a $55 million loan for a project to address major sources of pollution in the Litani River.A ministry of environment study on the state of the Litani, published in 2011, detailed four main pollution sources: wastewater and industrial, agricultural and solid waste being dumped into the river.Zahle MP Assem Araji told The Daily Star that the earliest that Parliament could think about discussing the World Bank loan for the Litani was the middle of October, when a special legislative session may be organized to discuss pressing matters.However, this simply leads to chemicals ending up in the river, causing pollution.A source at the Litani River Authority's Qaraoun Dam branch told The Daily Star that any initiative to clean up the lake before addressing the Litani would be a waste of money.
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