Data on dams in Libya

Libya has 16 dams spread across different cities in the east and west of the country, most of which have been vandalized, neglected and pumps stolen since 2011.

Research papers published by specialists over the past years indicated that most of the water networks associated with Libyan dams have been disrupted for nearly 15 years in the absence of periodic maintenance work.

According to geological specialists, all Libyan dams are not prepared to collect a large amount of rainwater in order to exploit it at a later stage to enrich the water reserve, which depends only on what the artificial river provides.

Warning from the Red

Crescent after the Derna disaster, officials in the Libyan Red Crescent warned of the possibility of facing a disaster with similar horrors, specifically in the northeastern town of Bersis, in the event of the collapse of the "Jaza" dam, after the water percentage in it rose above its annual rates.

Immediately, a committee began opening the dam's relief valves.

The concerned committee stressed that there are no dangers that the dam could pose to the surrounding area, but its reassurances do not eliminate the great fears of Libyans of a tragic scenario in which large areas are buried under water in moments.

Groundwater depends on the man-made river

Geological engineer, Yahya Alabbar, said in an interview with "Sky News Arabia" that groundwater in Libya does not depend much on dam water, but rather depends on a large project that was completed in the early nineties of the last century, which is the man-made river project, because there is a large river pumped from Lake Chad.

The underground river runs north, towards Libya, and the amount of water in this river is very large, equal to the water on the African continent for 20 years.

Accordingly, the Man-Made River Project was launched in Libya, and water was pumped from the south to the north of the country, and dependence on the water of this river became almost total.

Alabbar said residents in areas outside the man-made river plans rely on groundwater and to a small extent on dam water.

The stomachs of the valleys were used to collect water that is used in agriculture, but over time numbers of residents fixed themselves near the valleys, according to Alabbar, who pointed out that this matter was not frankly studied, because it is possible that a flood could occur in this area in the valleys.

He explained that the flow of water from the valleys has happened many times in the past, but it was not as strong as what happened in Libya recently.

All dams in Libya are not like the two dams that collapsed in Libya, one of them is rubble that was built in 1978, and has not been maintained since that time, and was intended to block water so that floods do not occur in Derna.

The Great Dam Safely

The largest valley in Libya is the Wadi Al Qattara concrete dam, which was maintained in 2002 and 2004 The valley basin was expanded to accommodate larger quantities of water up to 125 million cubic meters of water, and it is currently in good condition, as it currently has 6 million cubic meters, and even if the amounts of rain increase, it is safe.

As for the Wadi Jaza dam, it is relatively small, knowing that it is concrete and not rubble, as is the case in the collapsed Derna dams.

But its valves were tampered with and stolen, and it was opened manually using external pumps, followed by the Wadi Al-Mejnine Dam, which corrupted the Derna Valley.