By Libya Herald reporter.
Tunis, 16 May 2017:
The Mayor of Sirte has finally obtained his wish of an audience with the Presidency Council (PC) head Faiez Serraj. In Tripoli today, according to reports, Mukhtar Al-Madani aired his grievances over the apparent lack of support the PC has given to the reconstruction of the town and the provision of local services
Serraj insisted he would give greater help to aid the rehabilitation of Sirte, especially the challenges faced with its public services, a PC statement said.
Since forces of the so-called Islamic State (IS) were finally crushed at the end of last year, thousands of residents have returned to the town. However, while schools have been reopening, the Ibn Sina hospital partly functioning again as best it can, and water and electricity reconnected, the later are inadequate, there is a lack of medicines, nurses and medical staff as well as of hygiene services in the hospital and at clinics, and many parts of the town lie in ruins.
Not all of this is as a result of the battle between IS and the largely Misratan Bunyan Marsous forces to free Sirte. There was heavy damage during the revolution by NATO airstrikes and when at the end, Qaddafi tried to make a final stand there against the revolutionaries. It was estimated at the end of 2011 by the then prime minister Mahmoud Jibril that $400 billion was needed at that point to reconstruct Libya, with Sirte the biggest single item in the costings.
Since being freed just over a month ago after having been kidnapped in February, Madani has been high-profile in his efforts to rebuild and the town and restore services. Last month, pressing the PC’s local government minister Bidad Gansu to provide support, he said that 2,500 homes had been badly damaged and that the PC had to do more to help Sirte.
At that meeting, Madani secured promises of support from the minister. In today’s discussions, Serraj is reported to have repeated those promises, insisting he would give greater help, especially the challenges faced with its public services. The PC would also make efforts to support reconstruction projects and the return of displaced civilians, Serraj said.
Madani then travelled back to Sirte. En route at Khoms, members of the state electricity company GECOL told him that engineers would be sent before Ramadan to deal with any power supply issues.