By Sami Zaptia.
London, 9 February 2021:
Benghazi spent LD 1 billion on 566 contracts to rebuild the city, its Stability Committee reported to eastern based official state news agency LANA on Sunday.
More than two-thirds of this were distributed over 5,000 residential units in Jardina and Dreyana.
LD 250 million was used to remove damage and debris in the Sabri district and city centre with a completion rate of 91 percent.
The Stability Committee is targeting 14 sectors in the 566 contracts, 142 of which were for roads which completed 130 km, new paving, 34 on repairs and 15 contracts on concrete barriers.
The Committee said after the war in Benghazi that heaved much destruction on specific parts of the city, the priority was for improving basic services, the removal of debris, the return of water networks, sanitation, and electricity for the recovery of residential neighbourhoods.
These included 38 projects for drinking water networks, including 31 new feeds, and the development of two strategic projects, namely, pressure relief road point No. 5 near the Airport Road, which has been suspended since 1989, and the extension of the Fourth to Fifth Ring Road to Palestine Street and Al Tayyara Island.
Takeover of stalled projects
Many of these projects were mandated for implementation by the Housing and Utilities Authority three decades ago but stalled. The contracts were resolved by mutual consent, with the Public Works Authority, in partnership with the Benghazi Municipality and the Man-made River Authority, took over the completion of these projects, worth 8 million Libyan dinars.
There were 47 sewage network projects, of which 27 projects were completed, 12 of which were new lines, 35 repair projects, and 32 inoperative sewage stations.
About 250 km of lighting were implemented, with Benghazi being the first in Libya to introduce solar lighting with a grant from the United Nations, installing 900 lighting poles.
There were 32 electricity projects, including 29 lighting for the streets, maintenance of public buildings, including 72 educational institutions, and hospitals increasing bed capacity and a care room.
Health projects included the largest care room for heart surgery, the development of the Martyr Suhail Al-Atrash Hospital for ophthalmology and the rehabilitation of the Al-Khada hospital at international standards to become another educational reference, in addition to the maintenance of 26 health institutions.
New building contracts include 13 projects for five model schools in Al-Kuifiya, Sidi Khalifa, Al-Nujaiya, Jardina and two health centres, and the establishment of six services such as the Municipality, the Prime Minister’s Office and Planning Department.
Projects have suffered in the recent period from the failure of implementation as a result legal disputes over the ownership of some of the targeted land.
The 2021 budget is estimated at 300 million Libyan dinars, which includes projects in the city centre and Sabri, removal works worth 70 million dinars, paving and the restoration of gardens, lighting and water.
Seven power plants are also planned for implementation, a contract worth 30 million for the University to restore the Faculty of Economics, and 700 housing units in Jardina are expected to be ready within the next seven months.
The Committee estimates 142 projects are completed annually with 524 projects completed in the last three years. However, operational problems encountered 40 projects between the stalled and unimplemented, with 95 projects under way in 2021.