Tonnes of useless fish have washed up on the banks of a lake on Lebanon’s Litani river, engulfing a close-by village in a pungent odor, in a catastrophe blamed on polluted waters.
Volunteers collected rotting fish carcasses close to the Qaraoun lake on Lebanon’s longest river, the Litani, the place activists have warned for years of water air pollution attributable to sewage and waste.
Piles of rubbish drifted within the lake close to the useless fish. Swarms of flies unfold close to the reservoir and hundreds of fish had been decomposing in already soiled waters.
“This phenomenon appeared on the shore of the lake a number of days in the past,” mentioned Ahmad Askar, a neighborhood activist. “The fish began floating up, and in irregular portions…It’s unacceptable.”
At the least 40 tonnes have turned up useless in a couple of days, numbers which Askar and fishermen in Qaraoun described as unprecedented. They referred to as on the Litani river authority to search out the trigger and go after anybody dumping wastewater into the lake.
The river authority mentioned this week that the fish had been poisonous and carried a virus, urging folks to keep away from fishing all alongside the Litani because of “an aggravated catastrophe that threatens public well being”.
The air pollution prompted a ban since 2018 on fishing within the reservoir, which was created in 1959 with a big dam to gather water for hydropower and irrigation.
Final month, volunteers eliminated clumps of sticky tar from some seashores alongside the Lebanese coast after an oil spill which environmentalists warned would hurt marine life.
Ecological disasters are the very last thing Lebanon wants because it suffers by way of an alarming monetary collapse and the aftermath of an enormous explosion that devastated Beirut port final August.