By Michel Cousins.
Tripoli, 4 September 2013:
Water supplies to parts of central Tripoli were cut yesterday evening bringing further anguish and exasperation . . .[restrict]to a city already hit by rolling electricity outages and long queues at petrol stations.
Many in the capital attribute the stoppage to action by members of the southern Megraha tribe who had cut the Man-Made River following the kidnapping of Abdullah Senussi’s daughter Anoud on Monday. However, they restarted the flow a few hours later following negotiations with Water Resources Minister Alhadi Suleiman Hinshir. She has since been reported freed.
At his press conference today, the Prime Minister, Ali Zeidan, confirmed that there had been negotiations, saying simply that those who had tired to cut the water had stepped back from such action. However, the water cuts, along with the electricity outages, were the result of the oil field and terminal strikes and blockades, he said – giving no further explanation. The water problem would be resolved within hours, he predicted.
For its part, the Ministry of Water Resources would give no reasons for the stoppage. A spokesman refused to comment, saying that the Minister, Alhadi Suleiman Hinshir, would be making a statement later.
However, the Libya Herald has been told that water pumps at the Sidi Sayeh reservoir south of Tripoli had not been working because of the power cuts. Another report claimed that pumps near Ain Zara had been sabotaged.
Neither can be verified.
Coming on top of the electricity cuts and the long waits to buy petrol, the water crisis has noticeably increased public resentment over the government’s performance. In coffee shops and shisha cafes, it is the major subject of conversation.
There were water cuts lasting almost a week in Tripoli 11 months ago when the power supply near Bani Walid to the water pumps that fill the reservoir at Sidi Sayeh was cut. [/restrict]