The Great Man-Made River of Gaddafi: What Happened To It?

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Colonel Gaddafi, a man of many visions, had dreamed of seeing an abundance of fresh water in Libya, and wanted to make his home country stand as a proud and free nation. In 1953, the quest for black gold in the vast deserts that reside in the southern part of Libya, led to the discovery of oil and fossil water. The quadruple aged water aquifers that were uncovered in the 50s had projected sizes varying from 4,500 to 20,000 cubic kilometers. The majority of this water supply was accumulated almost 15,000 to 25,000 years ago, while some water tanks are believed to be a few thousand-years-old.

After a hardcore battle between Gaddafi and Muhammad Idris bin Muhammad al-Mahdi as-Senussi, King of Libya, Gaddafi and his army acquired power in a coup against Muhammad Idris in 1969. The new government, also called the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, made the oil companies state owned and invested a great deal of the oil profits to funnel the flow of drinking water from the underground aquifers, by installing a large number of bore wells throughout the Libyan land. Big farms were created in a southern region of Libya to motivate men and women to relocate to the desert and farm in those places. However, a lot of people in Libya preferred living in the northern and coastal parts of the country, for there was a steady and ample supply of water there.

Image Source: Wikipedia – Schematic drawing of the project. Note that different routes have been proposed for the not-yet-implemented phases (dashed). Tobruk may for instance end up connected to Ajdabiya instead of to the Jaghboub well field.

This backfire made Gaddafi’s government create a new plan: bring the water to the people. The Jamahiriya administration carried out the preliminary feasibility reports in 1974. In 1983, the wheels for the Great Man-Made River project were set to roll. The Great Man-Made River Project, a Jamahiriya government financed venture, was going to be developed in five stages. All five stages were a completely different project by themselves, however, when combined, the stages would form an integrated set-up.

As water in the newly formed Libya was considered to be a human right for its people, Gaddafi had to make this happen for the happiness of his people.

Image Source: Wikipedia – False-color image of the Grand Omar Mukhtar reservoir project south of Benghazi. Water (dark blue) residing in reservoirs appears twice in this image, in the upper right and at the bottom. Vegetation appears red, cityscape structures such as pavement and buildings appear in gray, bare ground appears tan or beige.

In addition, on the opening day of the second phase of the Man-Made River Project, Gaddafi stated that this project is the greatest response to the United States of America, and to all those who link Libya with the terrorists or any such activity. This project sheds light on the fact that Libya is all about peace and progress.

The Involvement of NATO

In 2011, NATO forces attacked Libya, and during that time, the third phase of the project was also completed.

Image Source: Amusing Planet – A few US citizens protesting againts their country’s involvement in Liyba.

However, the first phase was officially launched at the end of 1991, supplying more than a million cubic meters of fresh water every day from a pipeline that stretches more than 1000 km, from Sirte to Benghazi. The second phase supplies one million cubic meters of underground water each day to the coastal belt of the country, as well as supplying water to Tripoli. And finally, the third phase offers the organized development of the first phase set-up, and provides Tobruk and other cities close to the coastline with a new underground water supply.

The network of concrete pipes, which each have a diameter of 4 meters each, stretch more than 3500 kilometers. These pipes are hidden beneath the wilderness of the desert to stop vaporization of the water. There are more than 1000 wells, countless sections of concrete pipes, and 250 million cubic meters of excavation. Everything for the project was made in Libya; nothing was exported.

Image Source: Amusing Planet – A picture showing a big sign board indicating one of the many pipelines for supplying water accross Libya.

Furthermore, the final two stages of the man-made river required stretching the supply system collectively – which, once achieved, would irrigate more than 100,000 hectares of terrain. Or, as Gaddafi described, the venture would make the country as green as the flag of the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya.

The Great Man-Made River gained international recognition, which led to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization’s acceptance of Libya’s offer to fund the Great Man-Made River International Water Prize, a merit that benefits phenomenal scientific studies on water consumption in waterless locations.

Also, because of its international recognition, many people from other nations were employed in Libya, especially in the Great Man-Made River Project, for many years. But following the start of NATO’s ‘humanitarian’ bombardment of Libya, the summers of 2011 became a cause for a large number of foreign employees to leave the country.

Image Source: Amusing Planet – A long line of heavy duty trucks transporting concrete pipes across the desert.

In July 2011, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization not only bombed the Great Man-Made River water system and pipelines near Brega, but additionally eradicated the plant that created the concrete pipes that were used as replacements during repairs. They justified their actions by claiming that the pipeline factory was used as a warehouse for the military.

Additionally, they also said that the same pipeline manufacture plant was used as a launch site for missiles and rockets. When NATO forces bombed that pipe building plant, more than five security officers were wiped out, along with the water supply system that supplied the general public with water for personal consumption and agricultural purposes – hitting Libya’s essential infrastructure.

The development of the final two stages of the river project were set to be finished within the next 20 years, but thanks to NATO’s ‘humanitarian’ war on Libya, the projects’ future is in great peril.

The Fight For Water

Clean, sparkling water – much like the water made available to the Libyans by the Great Man-Made River – is not only a vital source for humans, but all living things. With no drinkable water, we just cannot perform.

Image Source: Amusing Planet – Another view of the heavy duty trucks transporting concrete pipes across the desert.

At the moment, more than 39% of the human population has very little or no access to safe, healthy and clean water – a number which is likely to leap up to 50% within just a few years. And as per the United Nations Development Program, worldwide intake of water is increasing every 20 years. While at the same time, after every 365 days, the majority of the great deserts in the world are growing wider, and the volume of functional farming terrain is shrinking in size.

However, there is more to the NATO ‘humanitarian’ bombardments of the Great Man-Made River Projects. In 2007, the United Nations Environment Program mentioned the water for revenue program, which earnestly encourages water to be a privately owned business. And, on the other hand, the World Bank implemented a strategy for privatizing water.

Image Source: Amusing Planet – A picture taken from within the concrete pipe showing the diameter of the concrete pipe.

The wars of the twenty-first century will be fought over water,” says Ismail Serageldin, the founding director of Bibliotheca Alexandrina and a former director of the World Bank.

In application, this means that both the World Bank and the United Nations want to fasten the water sources, allowing them to be used as a means of power. And once they entirely regulate these means, those means become financial assets, only to be sold back to the ‘free’ countries with a price tag. And, naturally, the prices for the freely available product will increase as the demand increases and water supplies are reduced.

However, what happened to the Great Man-Made River in the summers of 2011 can be best explained by the dialectical method (understanding the ‘problem,’ its ‘reaction’ and a ‘solution’). If you would like to read more about the dialectical method, please click here.

Image Source: Amusing Planet – An image showing trench digging for the Great Man-Made River in progerss.

In Libya’s case, the bombardment on the water supply system created a ‘problem’. Subsequently, a ‘reaction’ in the form of an instantaneous prevailing need, was triggered. More than 60% of the country’s people depended on the Great Man-Made River water supply for personal and commercial use. However, a few days after the demolition of the Great Man-Made River, over 50% of Libya had no running water. Finally, an established ‘solution’ was enforced – make the people of the war-torn nation reliant on a single water source – and consequently bound the people to their new ‘democratic’ government.

Source: Amusing Technology, Water Technology, United Nations, Al-Jazeera, Citizen, Seragaldin, Amusing Planet, Human Rights Investigation, Britannica, BBC, PERC, MEED, Wikipedia


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19 COMMENTS

  1. Sounds about right with helping to destabilize the middle east… I’m just surprised that we didn’t go in complete the work and take all the credit for it…

  2. Men with both vision and power somehow get wiped by the people in control of the world and the money. As the system grows to be more systematic, the ones in control can see clearly, anything that might cause them problems in the later years and thus they obliterate it in any way possible. This one is a very good example.

  3. Libya and Iraq were the only two nations that wanted to stay independent of the world bank system. President’s Lincoln and Kennedy also wanted to leave the system and be independent again. What is the common denomination???

  4. I am truly ashamed of my country (Norway) taking part in this ridiculous “war”, just dancing to the US music, and feeling no responsibility to help rebuild what was destroyed.

  5. US is the root of all problems.
    They cant see a country perform better than them.
    Sad to see the good countries they have manipulated.

  6. Even if we forget Vietnam, most Africa, Korea, all central America and the Caribbean and all SouthAmerica, plus Afghanistan, Iraq, Yugoslavia, Ukraine and now Syria, just Lybia on its own. What this monsters, sons of the Devil, sionazis, has no excuses, nor pardon. Hillary Clinton should be in prison for life for mass murdered.
    We shall never forget shot they did to Gadaffi, his people and his country.
    But Gadaffi will survive forever while all this bstrds burn in hell.
    Glory to the best African man.
    Love Gadaffi.

  7. Good to know about project and thanks for sharing.

    United Nations must acknowledge this and punish those responsible and pay the compensation to Libyan people.. Else time is not far when these big military powerful countries write same fate to other countries like what is happening in middle east..

  8. The U.K. and the U.S. were instructed by Saudi Arabia to demonize Syria and character assassinate Assad with outlandish volume of lies, made up facts and massive ongoing propaganda and by so doing ‘justifiably’ rid Syria of the “tyrant” and “psychopath” they made him out to be, just as they did to Muammar al-Gaddafi and Saddam Hussein. Saudi Arabia also wanted Iran put paid to, and accordingly the U.S. was working itself up under the aegis of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty to preemptively take out Iran’s nuclear facilities and along with them the Ayatollahs. Unfortunately for Saudi Arabia, Russia came into possession of highly classified information from one Edward Snowden which were used to hold the U.S. to ransom. Unable to take military action against Iran and Syria the U.S. resorted to inciting rebellion in Syria and then clandestinely aided and abetted implanted Sunni rebels that metamorphosed into ISIL. The usual failure in U.S. intelligence resulted in the Americans financing, arming and training (in USAF base in Doha) none other than these blood-soaked fanatics of the army of black-clad killers from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) who are out to reacquire Shia controlled Iraq. U.S. obsession with the Russian naval base in Sevastopol, Crimea and subsequent provocation to drag Russia into a conflict with Ukraine so that NATO may have legitimate reasons to move troops in to occupy Eastern Europe blindsided (U.S.) itself. Using terrorists for regime change is not only dangerous in its long-term ramifications, it’s suicidal.
    It may behoove the American (and British) people to realise just how White Hall, both the White House and Congress well and truly botched up not only Ukraine, Iraq and Syria but Western Europe as well in their bungling process. They botched up monumentally by playing silly buggers with Russia and taunting Putin and not tackling the onslaught of Islamism which is tantamount to criminal negligence and treason.

  9. Thank you so much for one of the most comprehensive and informative articles I’ve read in a long time. It really does sadden the soul to read of this ultra ambitious project, which was aimed to sustain his neediest citizens with our most precious resource.
    Knowing all this though just steels our resolve in the present, and for the future. Together we can change the world of tomorrow. Through education, compassion and unfortunately a lot more heartache yet. But we face it together.

  10. Because prosperous countries that are self sufficient are not able to be controlled. They want countries in need so they can threaten to pull funds if they don’t do as they are told. They like countries that they can force to vote and veto sanctions etc. by raping then ‘funding’ the desperate ones… if they vote on demand.

  11. I worked on the Gialo Oil Field Oasis Oil Co. The pipeline was just a few klicks away, I used to drive by and watched the pylons being put up stretching away for miles and miles, I honestly thought they were for
    another oil field until I was told about the ” River ” I watched it being built, I drove a landrover inside
    the pipe, I was amazed and impressed at the vision, and imagination of the project, it was a world
    changer ! I was told by geologists the water was 5 million years old and linked to the Nile via
    aquafiers, mind boggling stuff.. I had no idea the pipe plant was bombed, that was vandalism on a
    mega scale only evil can create, the Masonic master race of America will self destruct ! the good
    yank has decided to put Trump in power, the evil Clintons and KBR cartel is creaking, the masonic
    evil of G4S, Haliburton, empire is coming under scutiny, there attempts at creating conflict
    between brothers, & families will turn inwards because their lies are exposed as silly clap trap for
    illiterates, no doubt the concrete pipe plant was making barrels for Iraqi “super guns ” where as
    the real original barrels are at an airport in Bermuda and used to launch satelites.

    I hope Libya can heal it,s internal wounds because the US is determined to keep Libyan killing
    Libyan.

  12. What goes round comes round , n I’m very sure Americans n Britons will pay for it . they aren’t humans . as for now everyone in Libya is crying of thirst n hunger yet they r winning n dining at the expense of Libyans. U will pay it dearly

  13. Comment:It pains me alot.have been surfing since on biography of Gaddafi and was surprised of the man made river he constructed and destroyed .I’ll describe Europe and America as green snake under the green grass because they cause all world problems and they also claim to be the saviors.Their rule on Africa nations bringing downfall to every nation especially Nigeria where we were only given POLITICAL power which is t the root of problems the Nation is facing..The death of Gaddafi because of his ruling and hiking of the nation crude oil by him which also tarnished other OPEC NATIONS according to his statement i quote”I will not go into exile to any foreign country. I was born here in Libya, and I will die here. This country was a dessert, and I turned it into a forest, where everything can grow.
    No one Love this land more more than its citizens. If Europe and America tells you that they love you, be careful. They love the wealth of your land. The oil and not the people. They are helping you to fight against me but, it will be more wise for you to fight against them because they are fighting against your future and progress.
    My message to you the people of Libya is, they are helping you to kill me but you will pay the price because you will suffer. And my message to you America and Europe is, you will kill me, but be ready to fight a never ending TERRORISM.
    Before you realise your ignorance, terrorists will be hitting you at your doorstep.”

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