Repeated attacks on the Great Man-Made River (GMR), the primary distrubutor of water in Tripoli, have led to a major water shortage in the capital.
Unidentified men attacked the GMR to obtain water illegally, causing water leakage and delaying the city’s supply of water.
The perpetrators stole and destroyed 120 air discharge valves, which resulted in the waste of large amounts of water, in addition to serious drifts in the pipelines in Sirte and central regions.
GMR is a network of underground pipelines bringing high-quality fresh water from ancient underground aquifers found deep in the Sahara, Libya’s northeastern region, to the coast of Libya for domestic use, agriculture, and industry.
The lack of water is not the only problem facing Tripoli citizens; chaos has meant power cuts and crippling cash shortages for Libyans.
These are often made worse by battles between armed groups vying for control of the fractured oil-rich state.
In the 1950s, the water of the GMR was first discovered in the al-Kufrah area in Libya’s Sahara during oil exploration. Plans were put later in the 1980s to build a massive network of pipelines extending to the coast. To manage the project, the Libyan government established the GMR Authority in 1983.
The first phase began to supply water in 1989, second phase 1996, third phase was completed by 2009.
To provide water supplies to all Libyan cities, the project has several phases; phase I provides two million cubic meters of water a day along a 1,200-kilometer pipeline from As-Safir and southeastern Libyan town Tazirbu to Benghazi and Sirte, via the Ajdabiya reservoir.