By Libya Herald reporters.
Tripoli, 14 February 2017:
Aid to long-neglected Obari is picking up with deliveries of food and fuel from Algeria and from Tripoli medical supplies, cash for its banks and an ambulance. In addition, Turkish construction firm Enka has committed to resume work on the local power station, abandoned in 2014.
The Government of National Accord has sent a cargo plane with medical equipment and supplies for Obari’s struggling hospital which has survived largely with minimally-trained volunteers. The aircraft also brought an ambulance and a consignment of cash for distribution to local banks.
This support comes in addition to the $200,000 programme from the United Nations Development Agency which is funding the refurbishment of the hospital and prefabricated school buildings. The UNDP also handed over in Tripoli two ambulance and a garbage truck for delivery to the town. It would appear that the ambulance just flown in was one of these vehicles.
Meanwhile the Algerians have begun supplying food and fuel. Algeria’s Minister for Maghreb, Arab and African Affairs Abdelkader Messahel said that 30 tons of food was being sent to the Ghat and Obari regions along with 20,000 litres of diesel for generators.
Even more than other areas in the south, Obari has been hit by long power cuts. Thus the agreement by Turkish firm ENKA to complete work on the town’s 640 MW gas-fired power station will be particularly welcome. The company is sending engineers this month to survey the site. The initial inspection will take up to four weeks. Thereafter work is to resume on the project, which was begun in 2010 and was 90 percent completed when Turkish construction teams were pulled out in 2014 because of fighting between Tebu and Tuaregs.
Over and above assurances about security, ENKA management had insisted on the resumption of regular flights from Obari. Libyan Airlines has joined the Central Bank of Libya, southern members of the House of Representatives and local municipalities in organising the restart of the project. The Turks also wanted the hospital to be fully functioning again.