In a bid to deal with the problems of the desalination plant in Tobruk once and for all, the Beida-based interim Prime Minister Abdullah Al-Thinni summoned all the top water resources officials in the east of the country to an emergency meeting today. Tobruk has been facing water shortages for years, in part because of a rise in consumption but also because of declining production at the desalination plant, the result of inadequate maintenance over more than 13 years. Cracked pipes and boilers have resulted in a drop in output. Distribution pipes in the town also need replacing. Faced with this, the local authorities have been looking at various alternatives over the past year and more – from digging new wells to the construction of a new plant with a capacity of 150,000 cubic metres of water a day.
The Ministry of Education has just launched a pilot program to create 1,000 educational farms with a surface area of 5,000 m2 in schools, to strengthen students’ gains in food production and encourage them to take care of plantations. The initiative also aims to ensure food self-sufficiency in schools and to exploit the thousands of hectares of abandoned educational institutions, said a statement by the Ministry of Education issued on Tuesday. The “educational farm” started in the governorates of Zaghouan (Schools of El Manakaa and Jradou) and Gabes (school of Ramathi), the statement said, noting that this initiative helped these institutions to cover their notional and educational needs. This pilot project is part of an integrated strategic plan put in place by the Ministry of Education to provide school feeding to one million students in all primary schools by 2020. “All the necessary resources must be mobilised to implement this plan, as the school meal currently offered in schools does not meet the conditions of a balanced food meal due to lack of budget,” the source said.