Great Man Made River
|Great Man Made River|
Muammer Gaddafi was certainly a visionary who took on a variety of projects in his career. One of the more contentious has been the Great Man Made River that has piped water over thousands of miles from great underground deposits in the southern deserts to the various towns of Libya and in particular along the coastal belt where 90% of the population resides. Rapid development of coastal areas and increased population have placed a severe strain on the coastal water supply. On completion of the project fresh water will be readily avaliable in most Libyan towns with plenty more available for irrigation.
The project had been put forward much earlier than the Gaddafi period but had been rejected as it might affect the watertable. Some now attribute the drying up of the Ubari Lakes and various waterholes to the side effects of the project.
Started in 1980 the Great Man-Made River project is the largest engineering scheme currently being carried out in the world. The 4-meter diameter pipe is about 1600 km long transfers about 6.5 million cubic meters of per day. Since 1990, UNESCO has been contributing to the training of engineers and technicians and the setting up of a training center.
The pictures and information on this page have in part been adapted from the UNESCO site: http://www.unesco.org/water/ihp/prizes/great_man/gmmrp.shtml.