Last Thursday, the Tripoli based government discussed the National Water and Sanitation Programme and the medium-term plan proposed by the Housing and Infrastructure Board (HIB) to address water and sanitation problems.
Water and wastewater capacity deficits
HIB Director General, Mahmoud Ajaj, confirmed to Libya Herald, in an exclusive interview, that the problems that the plan will address are meeting the demand for drinking water in Libya and capacity to process wastewater. He said water demand is about two million cubic litres of water per day, while what is actually being pumped is approximately 1.4 million cubic litres of water, leaving a deficit of about 580 thousand cubic litres per day. As for wastewater, water pumping amounts to about 1.6 million cubic litres per day, while the sewage plants have a capacity of 259,000 cubic litres per day.
Two phase plan: Phase one to run from 2024 to 2026
Ajaj indicated that the HIB developed its plan as a result of the numerous requests it received from various Libyan regions, taking into account the needs of the most affected cities in particular with regard to water and sanitation. The plan included two phases. The first phase was discussed, which will last for three years, starting in 2024 and ending in 2026. This phase will take 36 months to implement important projects that include implementing and maintaining water lines and water supplies, in addition to improving sewage networks in major cities.
Many cities suffer water and sanitation capacity deficits
Regarding the cities and regions targeted by the plan, Ajaj said that many cities and regions throughout Libya will benefit from the plan, which suffer more from water deficits or from sewage drainage problems, namely Tripoli, Benghazi, Misrata, Zawia, Sebha, Al-Beida, Tobruk, Derna, Ajdabiya, Al-Marj, Zliten, Al-Khoms, Gharyan, Zuwara, Nalut, Brak Al-Shati, Ghat, Ubari, and Murzuq.
Second phase to cover 2026 to 2050
Ajaj stressed that the plan’s objectives aim to determine the precise needs for water and sanitation in these cities, determine the quantities required daily, and address the current water deficit. In addition to developing sewage treatment plants and restoring the financial balance of water supply and sanitation projects in the country, while the second phase of the plan aims to bridge the water deficit until the year 2050.
58 new sewage treatment plants needed
Regarding the most important requirements of the plan, Ajaj said, “The targeted cities and regions need to establish 62 new sewage treatment plants, 4 of which are currently being implemented, and 58 additional plants have been implemented, and 49 plants need renovation, while 9 plants need maintenance work.”
Ajaj noted the work on 856 projects in the water and sanitation sector within a plan in various parts of the country since the government of Abd Alhamid Aldabaiba took office.