Mon, 25 Sep 2023 - 12:59 GMT
Mon, 25 Sep 2023 - 12:59 GMT
The coastal Derna city in Libya after being struck by a devastating floods and storm- Photo from Abduallah Selim Hamd's Facebook page
CAIRO - 25 September 2023: In the aftermath of a devastating flood that affected the city of Derna in Eastern Libya, former Libyan Prime Minister, Fathi Bashagha, visited the city to show solidarity and support the international relief efforts. During his visit, Bashagha lauded the significant role Egypt has played in standing by the Libyan people during these trying times.
The catastrophe drew significant attention at the national level. The committee investigating the Derna storm incident, assigned by the Libyan Attorney General, has ordered the preventive detention of 16 officials responsible for managing the country's dam facilities.
The Attorney General's office, in a statement published by the Libyan News Agency (WAL) on Monday, confirmed that the committee investigating the Derna flood incident began assessing the collapse of the Wadi Derna and Abu Mansour dams, delineating the investigative parameters, coordinating their findings, and determining the causes leading to the disaster.
Furthermore, the committee took on the responsibility of investigating the appropriate use of funds allocated for the reconstruction of Derna. They examined the degree to which local authorities failed to mitigate risks posed to the city's residents. The investigation spanned various aspects including examination of documents, scrutinizing bank account data, tracking financial transfers, studying expert reports, and hearing testimonies.
The initial findings of the committee have pointed towards mismanagement and potential corruption. Charges of mishandling administrative and financial duties have been directed at the former head of the Water Resources Authority and his successor, the Director of Dam Management, their predecessor, the Head of the Dam Projects and Maintenance Division, the Head of the Eastern Region's Dam Department, and the Head of the Derna Water Resources Office.
Their alleged mistakes are believed to have directly contributed to the loss of lives during the flood, a lack of precautionary measures against disasters, and ensuing economic losses to the nation.
In addition, the Mayor of Derna faces accusations of abusing his authority, deviating from his duty to manage funds allocated for the reconstruction and development of Derna city.
The investigative committee has sought further inquiries against other officials involved in the Derna flood incident and anyone who may have mismanaged or illicitly benefited from the city's reconstruction project.
Natural disasters often not only bring out the immediate challenges of relief and rehabilitation but also highlight pre-existing governance issues.
The flood in Derna, a coastal city in Eastern Libya, has brought to the forefront significant mismanagement and potential corruption issues related to the nation's dam facilities and reconstruction efforts. As Libya navigates its post-conflict phase, ensuring accountability and effective management is essential for the nation's rebuilding process and for maintaining public trust.
The involvement of neighboring countries like Egypt in support roles signifies the importance of regional cooperation in times of crisis.