By Umar Khan.
Tripoli, 25 November 2013:
The clearing of a Tripoli rubbish dump may be signal the end of a bitter deadlock . . .[restrict]between local and national government on the waste crisis facing towns and cities in the country.
The site, in the residential Abu Sleem district of Tripoli, has been an issue of constant complaint from those living nearby and a serious health concern for years.
Speaking to the Libya Herald, the chairman of the General Company for Cleaning Tripoli (GCCT), Aadel Bukrah, called it: “A serious environment and health problem.” GCCT, a subsidiary of Tripoli Local Council, has been tasked with clearing the local eyesore. “We are planning to buy container trucks that would transfer 80 percent of the garbage straight to Sidi Sayah,” Bukrah said. “This will not only solve the health issues but also the traffic issue for the whole area.”
The state of the country’s chronic waste disposal problem was highlighted by US Ambassador in July when she told Tripoli Local Council that the delivery of basic services was the test of how well a government functioned.
The capital’s municipal services have become collateral damage in a battle between the government and Tripoli council. In July, GCCT, which Bukrah heads, even staged protests outside the Prime Minister’s office over the scarcity of contracts from the government.
The current funds from the Ministry for Local Government allowing for the removal of the rubbish dump are now finally being freed up for plans to improve the urban environment across the capital after a two-month delay.
Commenting on the ministry’s acceptance of a GCCT budget of LD 130-150 million per annum starting in the next fiscal year Bukrah said: “There is a proper company working now. There is a plan, expertise and the willingness to execute it. We all are hoping to give people a beautiful and clean city to live in.”
The closure of the dump is part of a larger scheme of environmental improvements around Tripoli including the planting of trees, reconstruction of pavements and repainting in and around Martyrs’ Square. [/restrict]