By Aimen Amzein
Benghazi was without water from around 8am this morning as a result of power cuts to pumps at the two reservoirs in Soloug some 50 kilometres south of the city.
In Benghazi itself, where electricity outages have been averaging seven to eight hours a day, it was initially reported that the cause of the water cut was because power lines between Ajdabiya and Zuweitina had been brought down in fighting between the Libyan National Army and the Benghazi Defence Brigades. As a result, pumps at the the Man-Made River project south of Ajdabiya had stopped working.
However, this has now been denied, with the pumps at Solouq being blamed instead. In any event, the reservoirs there hold enough water to last several days, even if the pumps south of Ajdabiya stop working.
Parts of Tripoli, meanwhile, have been without water for four days now and electricity outages are lasting between ten and 12 hours a day.
Previously, the state electricity company GECOL had attributed the Tripoli problem to a major rise in airconditioning use because of high temperatures. However, the temperature has dropped in less than a week from the mid 40s to the mid 20s – the high today was 25˚C – and very few are using airconditioning.
Power cuts in south lead to Tripoli water shortages
By Sami Zaptia
Power cut in southern Libya at the Hasawna mountain areas where the Man-Made River (MMR) water wells are located have led to a water shortage in Tripoli. Tripoli’s water is overwhelmingly supplied from this area. Some parts of the city have only noted a fall in pressure, others have had no water for two days.
This latest water shortage comes two weeks after power cuts led to a water shortage to the capital, the largest urban concentration in Libya.
The continued power cuts that have affected Libya on and off since the 2011 revolution and which peak in the summer months of high consumption, have in the last two weeks affected the MMR pumps at the Hasawna field water wells.
This latest water shortage started with a number of temporary power cuts and a total blackout on Thursday to Friday. The power cuts were caused, GECOL reports, by some regions refusing to take their turn in organised power cuts.
The MMR project, which is usually excluded from organised power cuts by GECOL so as to ensure constant water supply, has said that barring any further power outages, water should return to full pressure to Tripoli within three days.
MMR has said that its staff have been working full out despite the high summer heat, fasting during Ramadan and in spite of the insecurity in the region to restore water supply by covering tens of kilometres between the various 500 or so water wells. Tripoli uses about 500,000 cubic meters of MMR water per day.
Meanwhile, GECOL has announced that it is reactivating the electricity connection in the eastern region with Egypt in order to use power from Libya’s eastern neighbour.