The government of Lebanon has launched the first construction phase of the Litani River Irrigation project. The venture will supply drinking and irrigation water to the whole of Southern Lebanon. The first phase has a target date of completion set for 2008.
The total cost of the project is expected to reach $459 million. The first phase will be financed by the state, the Kuwaiti Fund for Arab Economic Development (KFAED) and the Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development (AFESD).
Earlier this year KFAED granted the government a soft loan worth 20 million Kuwaiti Dinars ($65 million) for the irrigation scheme. The loan has an annual interest rate of two percent to be repaid over 25 years with a seven percent grace period. AFESD has pledged $100 million to the project.
The Litani River National Office will oversee the project’s implementation of transporting 110 million cubic meters of water annually from the river to villages in southern Lebanon and the construction of an irrigation network and water treatment plants for a 15,000-hectare area. The project is expected to boost Southern Lebanon’s agriculture production and increase employment opportunities. — (menareport.com)
© 2002 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )