Libyan authorities have urged the UN and its specialised agencies, UNESCO, FAO and the International Agency for Environmental Protection, to prevail on the Western coalition forces to stop aerial bombing and the hawling of missiles on targeted parts of the country.
The Libyan authorities raised the alarm against targeted air attacks on such sensitive areas like the Great Man-Made River Project facilities, which provides drinking water and irrigation needs to about 4.5 million people, which is 70 per cent of the population, Panapressreports.
In a joint statement issued after an emergency meeting held Sunday to inform the world of the dangers inherent in targeting such sensitive areas by the air raids, the Libyan Secretariat of General People's Committee (Ministry) on Agriculture and the executive committee of the Great Man-Made River said that continued bombing could cause environmental and humanitarian disaster that will affect over 4.5 million Libyans, in addition to the damage that could affect the production of cereals, fodder and waterholes for livestock.
The statement highlighted the serious catastrophic consequences that could result from the air raids on most parts of Libya, including areas very close to pipelines, especially between Sirte and Benghazi, where pipeline networks and gas pipelines overlap, in addition to equipment and facilities.
Panapress reported the statement warning against the consequences of actions that may affect part of the water project, in view of the difficulties to repair the damage to the pipes of the plant of Brega, which could affect the supply of water to the citizenry.
Among the consequences of the destruction of the hydraulic system, the statement also cited the risk of flooding, which could affect residential areas and cause human and environmental disaster.
These water systems drain more than three million cubic metres daily at high pressure, in addition to the over 60 million cubic metres of water stored in reservoirs across different regions of Libya.
It said that the Management Committee of the Great Man-Made River Project is responsible for its operation and water supply to most towns and villages in Libya and it is the main source of water for most of the regions and cities, which represent approximately 70 per cent of the Libyan population.
The Great Man-Made River system has been globally recognised as the largest water transport system in the world.
It stretches from Kouffra, Serrir and Jabal Hassouna (south) to Ghadames (southwest), up to coastal areas from Benghazi (east) to Zouara (west), through the city of Ajdabia, Brega, Ras Lanuf, Ben Jaouad, Sirte, Museratha, Zlitin, Khomas, Tarhouna, Beni Walid, Gharyan, Kufra, Yefrane, Nalout and Tripoli, through pipelines stretching to over 4,000 km.
This gigantic water project has several reservoirs in Benghazi, Sirte and Ajdabiyah, with a total capacity of more than 50 million cubic metres and pumping stations in various parts of the country.
The water system has 120 supply sources to the cities, agricultural projects and maintenance services, 55 pastoral watering points, 3,000 control rooms and ventilation valves, which are the main facilities for safety and operation of the hydraulic structure.