Due to severe pollution of the Litani River, on November 8, 2018, Lebanon’s Minister of Industry officially shut down 75 factories “operating without a valid license” that were contributing to the river’s pollution. The Litani River is Lebanon’s longest river, and the country’s main water source. Over the years it has been filled with so much waste that it has become a serious health hazard.
In 2014, the Lebanese government attempted to revitalize the river by proposing a seven-year cleanup project. However, the proposal was never implemented. Since then, tests run on the waters have found it is riddled with diseases such as typhoid and salmonella, causing a major threat to public health. Because of the dangers the Litani River imposes, shutting down factories that add to the river’s pollution problem is a great step in the right direction to improve environmental health and to hopefully one day reclaim the river as a legitimate and safe water source.
As of early 2019, there appears to be no US corporate media stories on the shutdown of factories along Lebanon’s Litani River. However, a documentary film about water issues in Lebanon, titled We Made Every Living Thing from Water, serves to call further attention to the topic.
Source: Christophe Maroun, “The Litani River, Lebanon’s Main Artery, is Facing an Environmental Crisis,” Global Voices, November 11, 2018, https://globalvoices.org/2018/11/11/the-litani-river-lebanons-main-artery-is-facing-an-environmental-crisis/.
Student Researchers: Mikelle Van Buskirk (Diablo Valley College) and Elsa Denis (University of California, Davis)
Faculty Evaluator: Mickey Huff (Diablo Valley College)