Environment Minister Mohammad Machnouk warned against the Israeli greed in the Litani river during a conference held in the Lebanese University – Hadath, about the “Position of Water within the Environmental Challenges in the Middle East.”
Machnouk said that the annual water resources’ level in Lebanon amount to 3550 million cubic meters of surface water and 500 million cubic meters of underground water.
“Calculating the average water amount for each person we get 1200 cubic meter/person, if used reasonably,” he said.
In his word, Machnouk explained how politics interfered in Lebanon’s environment.
He said that the Ministry did not fail to treat the trash dossier but the political quarrels led to the stifling trash crisis Lebanon has been going through.
He affirmed that the aforesaid crisis was on the right track whereas half a million tonnes of garbage were removed from the streets.
“The annoying smell of trash is due to the transpiration of garbage from the streets. It will go away within few weeks,” he affirmed.
Back to the water issue, Machnouk pinned hopes on keeping the water dossier safe from political quarrels.
“Water problem – or the so called water security – has remained the biggest obsession in the Middle East over the past 20 years. It has been one of the fierce and most silent battles in the region for decades; not only because of the armed conflict but for its economic importance and political dimensions,” Machnouk said.
“Israel has had an interest in water since the ’60’s. And now, more than 60% of Jordan River water goes to Israel. This latter has got its eyes on the Litani river. In 1978, Israel named its invasion to Lebanon – mainly South Lebanon – by Litani,” Machnouk explained.
He called for using Al-Assi and Al-Wazzani rivers to answer the needs of the Lebanese people.
For that, the Minister requested the cooperation of all Lebanese parties to hold a national dialogue for water.
Source: National News Agency