Arab Group for the Protection of Nature (APN) co-founder Hassan Al-Jaajaa has been invited to the Litani Project Challenges and Opportunities conference in Beirut.
Al-Jaajaa, an agricultural and development expert, attended the conference held on Nov.27-28, 2018.
The aim of the conference was to discuss what has been achieved so far in terms of infrastructure and the challenges facing the project at all levels, including pollution in the riverbed and in Lake Qaraoun. The first phase of the project aims to transfer 90 million cubic meters of water below the Qaraoun dam to irrigate 15,000 hectares in the south and secure drinking water for 76 villages in the area.
During the conference, Al-Jaajaa spoke about the necessity to search for creative solutions for all obstacles, the most important of which are pollution, decreasing water quantities in the stream, decline of the social and agricultural environment and marketing of agricultural products, the small size of agricultural holdings, lack of rainfall and the impact of crushers on the course of the flow of springs feeding the river.
He proposed using the artificial rain and irrigation technology only when necessary, reed cultivation to reduce the contamination of untreated wastewater from municipalities to the riverbed, establish agricultural cooperatives that provide material and moral incentives to smallholders to join them.
He also pointed to the need to raise the quality of the agricultural product in order to compete better, for example by using the organic technicalities in the production of vegetables and fruits and the production of olive oil with the required specifications globally.