As concerns about water availability in Libya grow as a result of climate change and conflict, the UN’s humanitarian office (UNOCHA) has launched #TheHumanRace, a global challenge for climate action in solidarity with people in the world’s most disaster-prone countries and those hardest hit by climate change.
Recent heatwaves in Libya, along with severe power outages and the rapid spread of COVID-19, as well as ongoing water system damage and the drying of the Wadi Kaam Dam, pose grave hazards to people’s lives as time runs out.
Justin Brady, UNOCHA Head of Office for Libya said that they are extremely worried about extreme weather and climate change in Libya at a scale that people and the humanitarian and development communities cannot help manage.
Attacks on the Man-Made River, which produces 60% of all freshwater utilized in Libya, have put the country’s water security in jeopardy. Furthermore, due to an ever-warming environment, the Wadi Kaam Dam, which previously held around 33 million cubic meters of water, has completely dried up, harming farms and projects that rely on it for irrigation.
Conflict and the current health condition have cast a pall over Libya’s vulnerability to climate change. Disrupted water supply and dwindling reservoirs are just two examples of this. We are putting millions of lives at risk of losing access to safe water if we do not act now.
#TheHumanRace, hosted on the leading fitness app Strava, will encourage individuals all around the world to run, ride, swim, walk, or do any other action for a total of 100 minutes between August 16 and 31 in solidarity with the world’s most vulnerable people. Anyone who is unable to participate physically can still support our call to action by signing up on the campaign microsite.
The public is being urged to remind wealthy countries at the United Nations Climate Summit (COP26) in November to keep their 12-year-old promise to pay $100 billion per year to develop countries to respond to climate change and promote climate adaptation.