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Frustrations in Tripoli Reach Breaking Point After Continuous Power Shortages

(Author: Libyan Gazette Editorial Staff)

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The Libyan Government of National Accord has finally decided to react to power outages in Libya’s capital. Improving the living conditions of Tripoli residence has been an ignored issue for way too long.

Power shortages became unbearably especially during the month of Ramadan making fasting in the desert heat an excruciating experience. The continuous electricity blackouts resulted in delayed salary payments as well as an increase of chaos and disorder in the city.

Tripoli residence took to the streets to protest the endless power cuts out of and their frustrations towards the government’s lack of response for the electricity issue.

Khaled Delawi, who works at the passport office said, “The situation in Tripoli is getting worse day by day. There is no power for long stretches, no money in the banks and no security. We hear every day of clashes and crimes but there’s no response from the new government.”

The GECOL, Libya’s national electricity company, said that the shortage of power was not in their control. Armed groups were storming electricity facilities and redirecting electricity to their own neighbourhoods. Last month Prime Minister Fayez Al-Sarraj finally acknowledged the troubling electricity situation in Tripoli.

The GECOL added that “there is also an absence of maintenance and security, and clashes in some areas badly affect the work of the company.”

On Sunday, in response to the escalating protests in the streets of Tripoii Al-Sarraj discharged the entire GECOL board in hopes that the new board will resolve this pressing national concern.

With temperature expected to rise in August many are hoping that the GNA can regain control of the electricity issue before the temperature rises.

Frustrations have already reached their breaking point leading to rotting food in homes, shops and restaurants. Many businesses have had to close down as a result. Power cuts reached up to 15 hours a day.

“The authorities, especially Al-Sarraj and his Council, must make big and urgent decisions to find solutions to all these problems. It’s more than we can take,” said a local resident.

Mohamed Ammari, a member of the GNA, said that the interior ministry is working to secure the distribution of electricity and to stop armed groups from storming GECOL facilities.

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