Environment Minister Mohammed al-Mashnouq announced that the World Bank has approved a $55 million loan to fight pollution in the Qaraoun Lake in Western Bekaa Valley and the Litani River in south Lebanon, the state-run National News Agency reported on Friday.

Mashnouq added that the loan will also cover the completion of the sewage networks in Zahle and the surrounding villages, Anjar and al-Marj, NNA added.

Mashnouq’s comments came after media reports said that the river is being contaminated with sand because of the spread of stone crushers that were established near the river bed.

Contamination in the Qaraoun Lake are reportedly attributed to speculations that someone might have thrown dynamite into the lake for easy fishing.

Qaraoun is an artificial lake and reservoir located in the southern region of the Bekaa Valley.

The cabinet decided on Thursday to form a ministerial committee in cooperation with the security forces to follow up on the issue of the pollution.