After the catastrophe that occurred in the city of Derna due to the collapse of two old dams, the heavy flowing water swept away a quarter of the city’s buildings and everything in them. Many voices have risen, saying that this horrific tragedy could have been predicted and prevented. Attention has turned to the rest of the dams in various regions of Libya.
There are 16 water dams distributed across different cities in Libya, most of which have been exposed to destruction and neglect. Research papers published by experts in recent years have indicated that most of the water networks associated with these dams have been out of service for nearly 15 years due to the absence of periodic maintenance work.
Experts now believe that many dams have reached the end of their expected lifespan and have emphasized the need to carry out necessary maintenance or completely dispose them.
This report highlights the 10 most important dams in Libya:
- Wadi Derna Dam: The large Wadi Derna Dam was located about 2 km south of the city. It was built in 1972 to protect the city from flood hazards. It could only store 18 million m³ and has a height of about 40 m.
- Abu Mansour Dam: Located 13 km south of the city, it could store 1.5 million m³ and had a height of 75 m according to “Hidrotehnika,” a Yugoslav company that built both dams.
- Jaza Dam: Located south of Bursis town east of Benghazi, it was built in the early 1980s and has a height of over 60 meters, reserving water from a valley that extends over more than 100 kilometers.
- Wadi Al-Wushka Dam: Built-in 2004, it is a concrete dam located in Wadi Al-Wushka, 29 kilometers southwest of Sukna town in southern Libya.
- Wadi Ghan Dam: Located in Wadi Al-Hira, north of Gharyan, about 14 kilometers south of Al-Raqeeqat area, it is located in the western mountain region of Libya and was built-in 1982.
- Wadi Qattara Dam: It is a water dam located 33 kilometers east of the city of Bani Ghazi and was built after local floods destroyed the Bani Ghazi area in 1938 and 1954.
- Wadi Kaam Dam: It is located in the Kaam area near the city of Al Khums. It is considered the one of largest earthen dams. It has a huge lake of rainwater that holds about 33 million cubic meters of water and extends for several kilometers.
- Wadi Leptis Dam:Located in Wadi Leptis, 3 kilometers south of the city of Al Khums and was completed in 1982.
- Wadi Megnine Dam: A silt dam located in Wadi Megnine, 64 kilometers south of Tripoli and was built in 1972 to provide water for agriculture and flood control.
- Wadi Souf Elgin: It is the largest valley in Libya, extending from Algeria to the west and passing through most of the central regions of Libya. The city of Bani Walid occupies about two-thirds of the valley, and it is considered an important source of livelihood for its inhabitants. The valley ends in the Tawergha area.