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Protecting the Lachish River

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.

“Don’t Say Kaddish for the Lachish” is Zalul’s slogan for the campaign to save the Lachish River running between the cities of Ashkelon and Ashdod. After an in-depth study was undertaken to determine the pollution sources and the variety of pollutants, a major public campaign was begun with wide-media coverage.

Pressure from the public has led to the involvement of the Mayor of Ashdod and the Ministry of the Environment in the creation of the Lachish Committee, headed by the Mayor and responsible for the river’s rehabilitation – since it’s creation, the Mayor of Ashdod has now pledged to completely eliminate all pollution of the river by the municipality by summer 2008.

Zalul also filed a police report for sewage spillage and sent numerous letters to relevant individuals, leading to the resolution of one of the most problematic sources of pollution – the Timurim Sewage Treatment Facility. This facility, while brand new, was not in operation for nearly 2 years. As a result of Zalul’s activities, it is now working, treating the sewage of the nearby areas instead of letting it spill into the river. Zalul is continuing to fight for the Lachish River on legislative, legal, public, and media-related fronts.

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