Photo: Fuad Ben Fadil
By Sami Zaptia
The Information Technology Centre (www.itc.ly), part of the General Telecommunications Authority, has announced that the implementation of the postal or ZIP codes project is progressing on schedule.
In an exclusive interview with The Tripoli Post, engineer Fuad Ben Fadil, head of the Information Technology Department, which is charged with implementing the post code project, revealed that teams of trained Libyan staff are well on their way to mapping all of Libya.
Moreover, he was keen to stress that it is 'a Libyan project implemented by Libyan workforce’
"Al anwana al bareediya", as the post code is called in Arabic, has even got a website of its own - www.tarabot.ly, meaning interconnection or linkage. The project started in October 2008 with a budget of LD14.8 million and is expected to take 24 months to complete.
It may seem surprising to do all this in such short period of implementation considering it is a complex and first-time project. However, engineer Ben Fadil pointed out that engineer Mohamed Gaddafi - head of the General Authority for Communications - was personally monitoring the implementation of the project, and in view of its positive long-term ramification on Libya's development, is very keen to complete this project.
The aim of the project, engineer Ben Fadil explained, is to number or give a seven-digit post code to every building in the whole of Libya - no matter how small or how remote.
The future aim is that as a result of this system a person can search electronically - as is the case using Google for most industrialized nations - for an address of a building anywhere in Libya simply by entering its seven-digit postcode.
It was pointed out to engineer Ben Fadil that Libya was going through a major infrastructural and construction phase and wondered if that would make the post codes inaccurate or obsolete?
But he assured that the system of giving post codes to areas and buildings relied on the latest GIS and GPS know-how.
Moreover, he explained as he pulled out map after map of Libya divided into post codes, that the system is designed to be flexible and most importantly upgradeable - it is forward looking and able to expand and grow with Libya's growth and development.
When asked when could someone in Tripoli, for instance, expect the postman to deliver to an address based only on the post code system, engineer Ben Fadil confidently replied: 'October 2010'.
However, engineer Ben Fadil stressed the need to enlist the help of the general public and citizens in getting the system working. People and companies alike must learn about the post code and learn and make note of their own post code as they are informed of it.
Only by informing those delivering goods or services of their post code, will the system receive maximum publicity and quickly become a very useful and helpful tool.
People will also need to take note of the post codes of other areas or buildings of interest to them so that they can use the post codes to deliver their goods or services or even people. 'There needs to be a nationwide education campaign about the postal code system', he stressed.
So hopefully if the project is indeed completed on schedule, a postman/woman, a courier or pizza delivery van, a doctor, a plumber or electrician, or a first-time foreign visitor in a taxi from the airport should be able to arrive at your door simply by using the unique and clearly identifiable post codes.