130 wells sabotaged as Man-made River calls for provision of security

By Sami Zaptia.

Amidst continuing summer water cuts, the MMR calls on the state to provide security for its assets as it reports 130 wells were sabotaged or stolen (Photo: Man-made River).

London, 27 June 2020:

As Libya’s stifling summer heat hits residents, amidst acute power cuts and Coronavirus curfews, Libya’s Man-made River (MMR) authority calls for the provision of security for its sprawling assets – including thousands of kilometres of pipelines.

The MMR was responding to rising criticism of it for the continued water shortages in the Greater Tripoli area. Many Tripoli residents have been forced to dig wells in their gardens and even on the pavement in front of their homes for those with no gardens. Wells of about 20 metres are costing about LD 5,000 with waiting times of about three weeks as demand peaks.

The MMR Authority said that it has been doing its best to continue to supply water with the wells that are still operating and within its dilapidated system. It says the system is in need of much maintenance due to the sabotage and theft of wells, as well as the lack of scheduled maintenance of wells and flow control valves.

It also blamed the poor security conditions and armed conflicts, which it said also disrupted the operation processes and put them in a very critical situation. Most of the MMR area had been in the area under the control of the Khalifa Hafter forces.

Vandalism and sabotage

The MMR reported that during this week alone, 3 wells were attacked and vandalized, bringing the number of wells that were vandalized during this and last month to 23 wells, while 17 wells were maintained in the same period.

It said that a total number of 130 wells were vandalized/stolen which led to the loss of approximately 460,000 cubic meters of water per day – which is enough to supply the consumption needs of the entire city of Tripoli.

Need for Security

The MMR reaffirmed its oft made demand and the importance of the provision by the state of security protection to the well field area to stop vandalism and theft and to ensure that the current water supply deficit is filled by the completion of maintenance work.

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