Minister of Energy and Water, Nada Boustani, inaugurated a sewage treatment plant in Zahle funded by the Italian government, in the presence of Italian Ambassador to Lebanon, Massimo Marotti, MP Anwar Jomaa, Chairman of the Council for Development and Reconstruction, Nabil Jisr, and ranking dignitaries.
Minister Boustani noted that "sewage treatment projects are many and the needs of Lebanon's villages and towns are immense. The Ministry will follow the list of priorities, which will result in the modernization of the national strategy for water and sanitation, whether it is financed locally from the budget or from external funding."
Boustani thanked all those who contributed to establishing this plant at the highest of standards, emphasizing the role of the Italian government; "the largest contributor as it provided 20 million euros in funding, next to the Council for Development and Reconstruction which built the plant with the contribution of the Lebanese State amounting at 7 million euros."
"This project is a new experiment for public-private sector partnership," she said, hoping it would be a first step on the road to decontaminating the Bekaa and the Litani basin.
The Italian ambassador, in turn, noted that "the Italian Cooperation Agency provides assistance to Lebanon, especially in the field of environmental protection, infrastructure and relevant activities, such as wastewater treatment, industrial pollution reduction, solid waste management and marine scientific research."
"This is the Italian way to help invest in Lebanon's future and our way of contributing to protecting the health of our common sea and the environment," he asserted, deeming it a crucial matter as if affects the quality of life of the generations to come.
The diplomat shed light on the concept of environmental diplomacy which is being addressed on the international scene as a result of increasing awareness about environmental protection and the emerging environmental crises.
"As water remains a vital strategic natural resource with enormous economic and developmental potential, water diplomacy, water management and water supply projects remain very important for Italy and continue to be central to the agendas of governments in the Mediterranean region," Marotti said.
Source: National News Agency