Friday, April 29, 2011
Libyan War Over Water, To Take It Away From Libyans
The 1st of September marks the anniversary of the opening of the major stage of Libya’s Great Man-Made River Project. This incredibly huge and successful water scheme is virtually unknown in the West, yet it rivals and even surpasses all our greatest development projects. The leader of the so-called advanced countries, the United States of America cannot bring itself to acknowledge Libya’s Great Man-Made River. The West refuses to recognize that a small country, with a population no more than four million, can construct anything so large without borrowing a single cent from the international banks.
In the 1960s during oil exploration deep in the southern Libyan desert, vast reservoirs of high quality water were discovered in the form of aquifers.
In Libya there are four major underground basins, these being the Kufra basin, the Sirt basin, the Morzuk basin and the Hamada basin, the first three of which contain combined reserves of 35,000 cubic kilometres of water. These vast reserves offer almost unlimited amounts of water for the Libyan people.
The people of Libya under the guidance of their leader, Colonel Muammar Al Qadhafi, initiated a series of scientific studies on the possibility of accessing this vast ocean of fresh water. Early consideration was given to developing new agricultural projects close to the sources of the water, in the desert. However, it was realized that on the scale required to provide products for self sufficiency, a very large infrastructure organization would be required. In addition to this, a major redistribution of the population from the coastal belt would be necessary. The alternative was to ‘bring the water to the people’.
In October 1983, the Great Man-made River Authority was created and invested with the responsibility of taking water from the aquifers in the south, and conveying it by the most economical and practical means for use, predominantly for irrigation, in the Libyan coastal belt.
By 1996 the Great Man-Made River Project had reached one of its final stages, the gushing forth of sweet unpolluted water to the homes and gardens of the citizens of Libya’s capital Tripoli. Louis Farrakhan, who took part in the opening ceremony of this important stage of the project, described the Great Man-Made River as “another miracle in the desert.” Speaking at the inauguration ceremony to an audience that included Libyans and many foreign guests, Col. Qadhafi said the project “was the biggest answer to America… who accuse us of being concerned with terrorism.”
Col. Muammar Qaddafi told the celebrants: “After this achievement, American threats against Libya will double…. The United States will make excuses, [but] the real reason is to stop this achievement, to keep the people of Libya oppressed.” Qaddafi presented the project to the cheering crowd as a gift to the Third World.
London and Washington circles were apoplectic about the opening of the new Libyan water project. The LondonFinancial Times ran criticisms of the project from Angus Henley of the London-based Middle East Economic Digest.The pipeline, he said, was “Qaddafi’s pet project. He wants to be seen as something other than the scourge of the West.” The Financial Times called the project Qaddafi’s “pipedream,” stating that critics may be awed by the engineering involved, “But they regard the dream as a monument to vanity that makes little economic sense in a country where the U.N. Development Program says 94.6% of territory is desert wasteland.”
If it is vanity that motivated the project, at least the vanity of Libya’s head of state is being channeled in a productive direction in this case–which is more than can be said of the leaders of Britain and the United States.
The Great Man-Made River, as the largest water transport project ever undertaken, has been described as the “eighth wonder of the world”. It carries more than five million cubic metres of water per day across the desert to coastal areas, vastly increasing the amount of arable land. The total cost of the huge project is expected to exceed $25 billion (US).
Consisting of a network of pipes buried underground to eliminate evaporation, four meters in diameter, the project extends for four thousand kilometres far deep into the desert. All material is locally engineered and manufactured. Underground water is pumped from 270 wells hundreds of meters deep into reservoirs that feed the network. The cost of one cubic meter of water equals 35 cents. The cubic meter of desalinized water is $3.75. Scientists estimate the amount of water to be equivalent to the flow of 200 years of water in the Nile River.
The goal of the Libyan Arab people, embodied in the Great Man-Made River project, is to make Libya a source of agricultural abundance, capable of producing adequate food and water to supply its own needs and to share with neighboring countries. In short, the River is literally Libya’s ‘meal ticket’ to self-sufficiency.
Self-sufficiency?!? Absolutely Not Allowed.
P.S. Another video on the water project can be seen here. Ya think the "liberators" are being careful not to destroy the water project with their bombing? Is there another country in the region that might covet that water supply?