Water Cut To Millions in Libya’s Tripoli

Via Terra Daily, a report on recent water cuts in Tripoli:

Water has been cut off to millions of Libyans living in and around the capital Tripoli, the UN humanitarian coordinator for the country said, condemning its use as a “weapon of war”.

“More than two million people, including 600,000 children, who live in Tripoli and surrounding towns and cities, are suffering from water cuts for almost a week now,” Yacoub El Hillo said in a statement issued Friday.

As Libya struggles to contain the coronavirus pandemic, officially recording one death and 24 cases of COVID-19, “access to water and electricity is more than ever lifesaving”, Hillo said.

“Such individual acts to collectively punish millions of innocent people are abhorrent and must stop immediately.”

Libya’s coastal cities are supplied via the Great Man-Made River, an enormous project built under former dictator Moamer Kadhafi to bring water from aquifers in the southern Libyan desert.

The network was disrupted by members of an armed group in Shwerif, a region 350 kilometres (220 miles) southeast of Tripoli under control of forces loyal to eastern-based strongman Khalifa Haftar.

The group, which has cut water to Tripoli several times in the past, is demanding the release of family members detained in Tripoli.

“All mediation efforts until now do not seem to have produced a resolution to the dispute while millions of Libyans remain deprived of water,” Hillo said.

“Water should never be used as a pressure card nor as a weapon of war.”

This “deplorable” act coincides with major power cuts as a result of another dispute, Hillo said.

Another armed group has forced the closure of a gas pipeline which supplies power stations in western Libya, causing blackouts in the west and south of the country.

Libya has been gripped by chaos since Kadhafi was brought down and killed in a 2011 uprising backed by NATO.

Last April, Haftar launched an offensive to seize Tripoli from the UN-recognised government, a conflict which has left hundreds dead and over 150,000 displaced.

The Tripoli-based Government of National Accord blames the water and electricity cuts on Haftar’s forces.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, April 22nd, 2020 at 4:27 pm and is filed under Libya.  You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.  Both comments and pings are currently closed. 

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