Life is back in Asbeaa and Qasr Bin Ghashir in Greater Tripoli after a cleaning campaign

March 2021, Tripoli (Libya). A machine is cleaning a site in Qasr Bin Ghashir Municipality, Greater Tripoli. Photo: ©UNDP Libya

Municipalities in southern Tripoli were the most affected by the last conflict in the capital city. As a result of the violent clashes, almost all day-to-day activities stopped, and the waste accumulated. The war caused lots of destruction to public infrastructure and houses; as a result of which many people left their homes. The conflict left behind mines and other unexploded ordinances that posed a serious threat to those who wished to return home.

‘’Clashes were extremely violent in our area as it was located on the frontline. There were many barriers and closed roads and many houses were destroyed by air strikes and missiles,’’ declared Mr. Mohamed Soukouh, Mayor of Qasr Bin Ghashir Municipality.

‘’There was massive destruction in our city, war remnants are everywhere and garbage has accumulated on both sides of the roads,’’ stated Ms Asma Mahmoud Elalwani, member of Qasr Bin Ghashir Municipal Council.

Joining efforts for a clean environment in southern Tripoli

March 2021, Tripoli (Libya). A backhoe loader is cleaning a site in Asbeaa Municipality, Greater Tripoli. Photo: ©UNDP Libya

As soon as the war ended in Tripoli, the Government of Libya initiated a demining, recovery, and reconstruction process to allow Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) who fled the battle zone to return safely to their homes of origin.

Led by national and local institutions and implemented by UNDP with support from 13 international partners and the Government of Libya through the Ministry of Planning, the Stabilization Facility for Libya (SFL) engaged in several discussions with national and municipal authorities to shape a common understanding of how to approach the recovery and reconstruction plan including the Ministry of Planning, the Libyan Mine Action Center (LibMAC) and four municipalities in southern Tripoli (Qasr Bin Ghashir, Asbeaa, Ain Zara and Abu Salim).

‘’We collected data on the affected areas and what we found was that 30% of the damage was caused by war,’’ declared Mr. Abd al-Salam Mohammed al-Kabir, member of Al Sabeea Municipal Council.

The process started in Qasr Bin Ghashir and Asbeaa Municipalities. LibMAC took the first step of clearing the area (20 sites in Al Sabeea and 19 sites in Qasr Bin Gashir). The second step consisted of removing rubble, garbage and other debris that were blocking roads and posing health and environment threat to residents.

‘’The campaign, led by the UNDP’s Stabilization Facility, surveyed more than 20 locations within the municipality. LibMAC ensured the area was free of mines and explosives, and then we received permission to remove rubble inside the municipality,’’ declared Mr. Mohamed Soukouh, Mayor of Qasr Bin Ghashir.

‘’Garbage was the main challenge as it was preventing us from working and was a source of diseases caused by insects and flies. Therefore, we prioritized removal of garbage,’’ explained Abd al-Salam.

March 2021, Tripoli (Libya). Ongoing work to clean a site in Asbeea Municipality. Photo: ©UNDP Libya

‘’Before the start of the cleaning campaign, the municipality carried out a campaign to warn against the danger of explosives and mines and distributed posters and booklets to residents and students,’’ stated Mr. Bashir Ramadan Al-Crew, a member of a civil society organization in Qasr Bin Ghashir.

Returning progressively to normality

May 2021, Tripoli (Libya) Ms Asma Mahmoud Elalwani, member of Qasr Bin Ghashir Municipal Council in her office. Photo: ©UNDP Libya/Abdullah Hussin

Removing rubble in Al Sabeea and Qasr Bin Ghashir is allowing people to move freely again and a progressive return of displaced persons.

‘’We were afraid of mines and unexploded rockets especially in places such as schools. After the cleaning campaign, we returned home and went back to our work. In addition to that, schools that were operational opened their doors to students enrolled in damaged educational institutions,’’ stated Ms Asma Mahmoud Alalwani.

‘’We were happy that the cleaning operation did not take long. It allowed us to return to our homes and children to schools,’’ declared Mr. Ezzedine Massoud Freifer, resident of Al Sabeea Municipality.

July 2021, Tripoli (Libya) Students attend a class in Qasr bin Ghashir Municipality after the cleaning operation. Photo: ©UNDP Libya/Abdullah Hussin

‘’The situation is now good as we moved away from the nightmare of mines. We are returning to our homes and jobs and bringing back our children to school and life is returning progressively to its normal course,’’ explained Mr. Mabrouk Moftah Abu Arqoub, resident of Al Sabeea Municipality. ‘’I would like to thank all those who participated in the cleaning campaign and the great job they did which is visible in the whole municipality,’’ he added.

July 2021, Tripoli (Libya). Students in a laboratory for practical lessons in Asbeea Municipality after the cleaning operation. ©UNDP Libya/Abdullah Hussin

Through the Stabilization Facility, UNDP works closely with international and national partners to improve stabilization in the most affected cities across the country and enable people to resume normal life. The same cleaning campaign has started in Abu Salim and Ain Zara Municipalities in Greater Tripoli as well as in Tawergha.

UNDP Libya

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‏‏شعوب متمكنة، أمم صامدة -الحساب الرسمي لبرنامج الأمم المتحدة الإنمائي في المنطقة العربية. UNDP official account in the Arab States

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البرنامج الإنمائي

البرنامج الإنمائي

‏‏شعوب متمكنة، أمم صامدة -الحساب الرسمي لبرنامج الأمم المتحدة الإنمائي في المنطقة العربية. UNDP official account in the Arab States

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