By Sami Zaptia.
London, 10 January 2017:
The bad weather hitting the north coast of Libya which has led to a drastic fall of temperatures, heavy rainfall and even snowfall in eastern Libya has caused the usual road chaos associated with winter. In the east of Libya, the Thinni Interim Government’s Ministry of Education was forced to close schools for three days due to the bad weather.
The usual winter rain black spots of Tripoli witnessed the same flooding, with a number of roads across the capital in over 30 cm of water. These included parts of Soug Juma, the Bevio traffic light, parts of the 11 June area and its bridge.
The current financial and political crisis in Libya and its even weaker than usual governance meant that in January, many drains were still blocked with summer rubbish and soil, preventing rainwater from draining away.
Water was higher than the step of some shops in some bad areas causing water to enter premises. Many vehicles broke down as the high water made contact with exposed wiring. Other vehicles fell into pot holes.
The Libyan Red Crescent was forced into acting as the Municipality workers, traffic police and the Automobile Association as it helped unblock drains, direct traffic and tow stranded vehicles out of deep water using ambulances.
The heavy rainfall and cold weather makes the ongoing and extremely long power cuts of 10 hours and more feel even worse as residents struggle to keep warm without heat fuel and electricity.
Tawerghan camps housing the internally displaced have also been hit badly by the annual heavy rainfall bringing them even more misery. Unfortunately, they have had to experience the same terrible winter conditions now for three years running.