The Lachish River is RED!
During a routine tour yesterday (July 24, 2007) by Zalul Environmental Association in the area of the Lachish River, staff members came upon the Barkai tributary to the Lachish River that was turning the water red. After further investigation it was discovered by Zalul that the factory “Zera Genetics” was discharging their wastewater straight from the factory into the river. The wastewater is mainly from the rinsing of watermelon seeds by the factory. Zalul has announced that it is pursuing legal action against the factory.
Says Moran Diment, Project Coordinator for Zalul’s Lachish River campaign, “A profitable factory cannot pollute the environment with the excuse that it is for economic reasons. This is exactly the event where it is clear that the authorities must take responsibility and take on the investors of the factory with great severity. The factory is obliged to take responsibility, and we expect the Ministry of the Environment and other authorities of enforcement to operate to the fullest of their authority in order to stop the pollution.”
Background: The Lachish River was once a perennial stream flowing year-round. The clear waters served many of the inhabitants of the area for a variety of different uses, for example fishing and agriculture. The development of the city of Ashdod in tandem with the development of settlements and additional factories lengthwise along the route of the river deteriorated the quality of its waters. Nowadays, the majority of the river is merely an intermittent stream and the clear water has been exchange for wastewater and urban and industrial sewage. A year and a half ago, Zalul began its campaign to save the Lachish River.