Aid & Development

The people of Tawergha finally return to their homes

North Africa

The city of Tawergha, which was made a ghost town during the civil conflict in Libya, is seeing an influx of returnees and the beginning of reconstruction projects

More people from the Libyan town of Tawergha have returned to their homes after seven years of displacement. After living in camps near Tripoli and Qararat al-Qatif, 180 families have joined more than 40,000 other individuals in returning to their homes and livelihoods.

Joining the families in this journey were the Head of the Tawergha Municipality, Abdul Rahman Shakshak, and a delegation from the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA).

One of the main concerns of the returnees and officials alike is the restoration of services such as sanitation, electricity, schools and hospitals. A field hospital and four temporary schools have so far been established for the local residents.

However, further services and the removal of rubble are still needed along with security, which has been cited as a prime concern for the returning residents. The local municipality has also decided to keep people on the ground in the town to hasten the pace of rehabilitation and designate a building as a local headquarters.

Last week, a Women’s Delegation from nearby Misrata visited the town to meet with other local women. This formed part of the wider reconciliation agreement between the two areas that had previously included joint iftars during the Holy Month of Ramadan.

When the conflict broke out in 2011, Tawerghans largely remained loyal to the Gaddafi Regime, while Misrata was known as one of the springboards of the revolution. In the ensuing fighting, and in particular after Gaddafi fell, atrocities and barbaric crimes, including the mutilation of fighters, were reported.

The delegation toured the local facilities and schools to ascertain the readiness of the town for receiving the new school year, which has already started in many parts of the country. This visit marked the first visit of its kind between women of the two places for the first time in seven years after a peace treaty was signed in June earlier this year, which ultimately paved the way for Tawerghans to return to their homes.

Image: Emad Ergeha