The United Nations Children’s Fund “UNICEF” said that more than 4 million people, including 1.5 million children, will face an “imminent shortage” of water in Libya.
UNICEF said – in a statement – on Monday, that local suppliers are facing difficulty in opening bank credits in hard currency to import equipment and spare parts needed to maintain wells and the water networks, noting that the repeated attacks on the Man-made River systems have caused about 190 wells to go out of production in “Al-Jafara, Al-Hassawna, Al-Serir, and Tazzirbo” systems, this pushes the vital sector to the edge of network wear.
UNICEF added that the General Company for Water and sanitation services suffers from multiple problems, and that only 45% of homes and institutions are connected to the public network, and the rest of the houses depend on cesspits that lead to contamination of underground tanks, pointing out that most of the wastewater is discharged directly to the sea, without treatment.
UNICEF explained that the desalination plants suffer from the lack of operational equipment and chemicals necessary to carry out maintenance. As a result, its operational efficiency decreased and the exit of Al Khaleej station out of service had a negative impact on more than 63,000 residents of all cities on the eastern coast of Derna who were denied access to safe water, pointing out that the estimated cost of rehabilitating the plant is $ 12 million, and that the remaining seven stations that supply water to the cities of Abu Traba, Sousse and Tobruk is operating at a rate of 28% and is vulnerable to collapse.
“UNICEF” called on officials and decision-makers in the Libyan government and international organizations to give priority to the water and sanitation sector and to urgently provide the necessary funds, to carry out maintenance of water supply and sanitation services.