Following years of civil conflict in Libya, the country's second largest city, Benghazi, is going through a comprehensive reconstruction process.
Terrorist groups have been operating in an around Benghazi for a number of years, plunging the region into military conflict and devastating the infrastructure of Libya’s second largest city.
The Central Bank of Libya and the Stabilisation Committee of Benghazi estimated the total cost of the reconstruction of the city to be around 1.7 billion Libyan Dinars, which is close to 1 billion British Pounds.
Reconstruction projects have been launched to restore the city’s former grandeur. For instance, the al-Hawari Bridge, which links the western and eastern side of the city and was damaged during the military battles, is now undergoing reconstruction as it was close to collapse:
“After conducting studies and experiments, the most prominent maintenance work included filling the cracks, strengthening the main cables, and repairing some parts of the bridge”, commented one of the constructors.
Other aspects of the city’s infrastructure are also being repaired extensively:
“Work is underway in water and sanitation projects, but we face some problems in the area of Saberi. The Benghazi lighting project will soon be launched”, noted a manager working on these projects.
Prominent landmarks have also been renovated as part of the reconstruction process. This includes the historic clock tower of Benghazi, in the Sidi Akhribesh area, that was damaged during military clashes with ISIS. It dates back to 1922 and is one of the oldest and most historic monuments in the city. The initiative to restore the site came after it was discovered that ISIS had been using it to bury their dead. Around 200 bodies were found beside the lighthouse, with the building itself suffering extensive damage after being bombed repeatedly by the militants.
The atmosphere of the city has seen general improvements in the process. The lack of a current terrorist threat in Benghazi has meant that residents are free to spend their time in public spaces without fear.