GNU and HoR respond to groundwater crisis in Zliten

Jan 30, 2024 | Libyan actors

A sudden rise in groundwater levels in Zliten, a town located between Tripoli and Misrata in western Libya, has led to flooding and a nationwide response to address the unfolding crisis. The Government of National Unity (GNU) has led the western response to the issue. On 30 January GNU Prime Minister Abdul Hameed Dabaiba held a meeting with the committee established by the GNU Council of Ministers to follow up on the situation in the municipality of Zliten. The attendees discussed the proposals currently on the table for an immediate, medium and long-term plan to address the problem. They also mentioned the need to cooperate with international partners.

On 2 February, the GNU Environment Ministry warned of the potential need for urgent evacuation of large numbers of residents at any moment and at short notice due to the escalating environmental situation. The Ministry noted that over 20,000 people in Zliten are affected by the groundwater crisis, with buildings at risk of collapse. The same day, the GNU said that a British team had arrived in Zliten to assess the situation.

On 4 February, the Government of National Stability (GNS) Prime Minister Osama Hammad announced the arrival of an Egyptian team of experts to Zliten to contribute to studying the crisis of rising groundwater levels. The following day, the House of Representatives (HoR) agreed to class Zliten as a disaster zone and said an emergency budget would be allocated to support recovery efforts there, overseen by the GNS.