Industry Minister Wael Abu Faour declared in a press conference on Tuesday that the ministry is going to shut down 14 factories located around the Litani river and basin for failing to comply with the ministry’s environmental instructions.

“Only 49 factories out of 63 have corrected their environmental violations. Those who failed to comply will be shut down temporarily until they correct their violations,” announced the minister.

“The violations located around the river are catastrophic and affect the plantings and surrounding areas,” he added, noting that violators will be given the chance to reopen their factories after correcting the violations.

“The Ministry has pledged earlier to reduce pollution in the River to zero,” said Abu Faour.

The Ministry of Industry had earlier set September as the deadline for factories located around the Litani River and basin to rectify their environmental violations.

The level of pollution has reportedly caused an unprecedented rise in cancer cases in the towns and villages surrounding the River.