By Itad Shiboub
First, I would like to thank the members of Eni North Africa – Libyan Branch for all their efforts exerted to preserve the environment and the strategic plans for the development of Libya. Also I would like to thank the Managing Director of the Company for his encouraging words concerning the 2009 Eni North Africa sustainability report. However, many people have been asking for inquiries to be made. Eni, which celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2009, only managed to hold a single workshop in all those years! Why didn’t the company seek to protect the environment and strive for sustainable development in the past years?
How can the company be talking about building clinics and working on the restoration of archaeological and historical sites in its report while it is destroying or damaging human lives and the environment at the same time? Naturally all the activities and projects presented are useful and needed, but there are priorities that must be dealt with by this company and other companies. These priorities consist of maintaining quality of life for human beings and preserving the environment.
I know that the company’s gas pipeline projects includes a pipeline that extends from the field Alwfa to Italy. On this pipeline there is a station called Mellitah, it’s located between Sabratha and Zuwarah. This recent project involves building a station that emits gas in a residential area and results in unpleasant odors. Furthermore, studies have shown that these emissions cause a high increase in the abortion rate in the area. Some of the obstacles faced in realizing sustainable development stem from the former regime and its policy in the fight against development. However, the ultimate responsibility lies with the companies that pollute – whether it be in Libya or elsewhere. There needs to be accountability for their actions. The international community, General Assembly of the United Nations and OPC need to raise global awareness of companies from the developed world who operate irresponsibly in the developing world. The actions of companies such as Eni North Africa will affect both the North and the South, including Libya. All local and international organizations and citizens of the world need to cooperate to avoiding or mitigate such human tragedies and ecological disasters. Everyone has to be involved and accelerate their effort, especially those who don’t feel concerned, are indifferent or who stay silent while the world is being destroyed.