The re-activation of this giant project, whose construction works have been completed to a large extent, by the Libyan State is very important in terms of meeting the country’s need for drinking water, industrial water, and irrigation water. I am of the opinion that this project, which is of great importance for Libya, must be continued and implemented. Our Turkish contractors have the knowledge and experience to easily complete this unfinished project in Libya. I would like to express that I am ready to convey all my support and experience to Libya, as someone who personally examined the project on site and implemented many water-related projects in Africa during my time as an associate professor.
MASSIVE WATER SUPPLY FOUND WHEN SEARCHING FOR OIL
Although two-thirds of the world is covered with water, only 3 percent of this water is drinkable, that is, fresh water. The distribution of these water resources varies from country to country. In some regions, water resources are more than the need, while in some regions there are not enough water resources. Therefore, this imbalance in water resources causes some countries to experience drinking water shortages. Countries that suffer from drinking water problems are trying to overcome this problem within their own means.Libya, located in the north of Africa, is one of the countries that suffer from drinking water shortages. Libya sought a solution to the drought of Libya, 95 percent of which is desert, with the “Great Artificial River Project” they implemented to overcome the drinking water shortage. In Libya, which receives almost no precipitation, the country’s average annual precipitation is only 100 mm. In some areas it only rains 5-10 times a year.
THE PROJECT IS IN THE GUINNESS RECORD BOOK
The Great Artificial River Project also entered the Guinness Book of Records in 2008 as the largest irrigation system in the world. Despite this, the Western media did not want to bring up this enormous project too much.In fact, the Libyans had implemented an enormous project that could irrigate thousands of hectares of land and turn the deserted areas into agriculture. However, due to internal turmoil in 2011, this gigantic project was stopped. Today, the project is not a priority in the country. This issue is not even brought up. Also, during the internal turmoil, the completed parts of the project were attacked and the project was damaged.
As a result, in recent years, the problem of drinking water has started to be experienced again in the country, and the problem of drinking water has reached the highest level in Tripoli and Benghazi. The infrastructure of the Great Artificial River Project is being damaged day by day as a result of both the lack of maintenance of the pumping centers and some armed attacks.
FULL SUPPORT FROM TURKEY TO THE PROJECT IMPLEMENTED
As a result of all these negative effects experienced in the project, desertification has started again in the country. Had the Great Artificial River Project been fully implemented without any interruption, North Africa could have become the Earth’s agricultural warehouse. If there had been no internal turmoil in the country, an “Arab Spring” could have happened in Libya. The food needs of not only Libya but the whole of Africa could be met with this project, resulting in a stable and fully independent Libya. The strengthening of Libya and its full independence in the economy would also create a locomotive effect in the countries of the region. Unfortunately, this project was not completed.