By Sami Zaptia.
London, 10 August 2020:
Libya’s Man-Made River Authority (MMR) announced yesterday that its field monitoring team reported on Sunday that ‘‘well 219’’ in its Western field had been permanently decommissioned due to an attack by unknown assailants.
It explained that a total of 149 wells have now been attacked so far despite its continuing demands to the concerned state authorities to provide security for the Authority’s assets. In June this year it had reported 130 wells had been attacked. It said there has been no response from the state so far. In June it had made a similar call for the provision of security.
The Authority pointed out that the continuation of these attacks will hinder efforts to continue operations and hinder the flow of water to the consumption areas. It pointed out that the issue of the continued attacks on its assets of attacks is a danger to national water security, and an urgent national strategic necessity that cannot tolerate any delay or postponement.
It will be recalled that the MMR Authority has been asking for armed protection of its assets for years. In 2013 the then recently-established Ministry of Water Resources said it would tackle the problem of illegal tapping of the Man-Made River and attacks on its assets with the creation of a brigade of 1,500 armed soldiers to police vulnerable sections of the MMR pipeline. However, in practice 4,000 km of pipelines and assets are not easy to guard in mostly isolated desert areas.
Tripoli and the western region of Libya has been experiencing acute water shortages this summer forcing many to dig bore-wells in their gardens or on pavements outside their homes costing about LD 5,000.