UNICEF warns of a massive water shortage in Libya

Over 4 million people, including 1.5 million children will face acute water shortage if a solution is not found

The general company for water and wastewater is facing water losses in excess of 50% of its network. [Photo: UNICEF]
The United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) warned of an impending disaster when it comes to water in Libya over the deteriorating situation of Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH).

In an official statement, UNICEF said that over 4 million people, 1.5 of whom are children, are at risk of facing water shortage if a solution is not found and implemented immediately.

It noted that the general company for water and wastewater is facing disastrous conditions that are only getting worse in the water network which has resulted in water losses of over 50%.

“The situation has been exacerbated by frequent power cuts and lack of fuel needed for operations. All these conditions could lead to a complete system breakdown and stop water supply and sanitation services to vulnerable families and children,” it warned.

It added that due to severe deficits in the state’s budget caused by the country’s state of turmoil has left the water sector facing significant challenges including a decline in services, equipment, needed material and necessary parts for continued maintenance.

In regards to the sanitation sector, it estimated that just 45% of all households are connected to the public network, leaving the rest to use cesspits which lead to pollution of underground reserves. It also added that most of the wastewater is emptied directly into the sea without any form of filtering, leading to extensive pollution in the environment.

Concluding its statement, UNICEF called on the people in charge to make the pressing issue of water shortage a priority concern and provide relevant parties with the necessary funding to carry out maintenance and ensure the continued provision of an adequate water supply to the Libyan people.

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