“Trash piled up in the streets”
Fathi Bassit, 42, lives in central Tripoli. He works in advertising and communications.
Trash has always been a problem in Tripoli, even under Gaddafi’s rule. During the seven months of revolt, however, the problem became worse. Trash piled up in the streets, because cleaning it up was a job done by black immigrants working for the public cleaning company. When the revolt started, most of these immigrants left the country or stayed home. Even more of them left once Tripoli fell.
Neighbourhood committee leaders realised that this situation posed serious sanitary risks, so they decided to launch a major cleanup campaign. [After the Gaddafi regime’s fall, on August 24, residents of Tripoli set up neighbourhood committees to deal with local matters. These committees are made up of five people: a president, a head of security, a head of medical affairs, a head of public affairs, and a head of charity. Each of them is helped by dozens of volunteers.]
These past few days, many young people came together to clean up their neighbourhoods, particularly in neighbourhoods that support the National Transitional Council, like Fashloom and Tadjoura.
In pro-Gaddafi neighbourhoods, like Bouslim, residents aren’t doing anything. The roads are dirty and trash is piling up outside people’s homes. Near Bab el-Azizia [Colonel Gaddafi’s former headquarters], the streets have only been cleaned a little."