A Maltese tanker carrying some 300 tons of potable water and 50 tons of bottled water and radio equipment is due to arrive in Tripoli this evening, alleviating some of Tripoli’s critical water shortages.

The humanitarian shipment, coordinated by the I-Go Aid Foundation, is being shipped by the CMS Seahorse, a Cassar Ship Repair tanker.

As rebel forces turn their sights on the city of Sirte, the Libyan capital Tripoli continues to face severe water, food and fuel shortages. Bottled water prices have skyrocketed and in many parts of the city the water supply has been cut off. It remains unclear who or what has caused the shutdown of the water supply.

The CMS Seahorse and its eight-strong crew will unload the supplies in Tripoli before returning to Malta on Thursday. The tanker was due to depart Malta yesterday morning but delayed its departure to add a further 50 tons of bottled water and radio equipment to the original 300 tons of potable water donated by the Water Services Corporation. The additional pallets of bottled water and radio equipment were provided for by various I-Go Aid donations.

Although there are no plans to load the vessel with any equipment or materials once it docks in Tripoli, Anthony Cassar, Chairman of Cassar Ship Repair Ltd, told The Times there may well be some items, such as empty oxygen tanks, which the tanker could return to Malta.

The I-Go Aid Foundation, which was set up to deliver much-needed supplies to Libya following the outbreak of hostilities, has made around 45 shipments to Libya since it was set up last February. Mario Debono, a local businessman and spokesperson for I-Go Aid, was keen to emphasise the “highest cooperation” provided by both the Maltese government and Libya’s National Transitional Council in organising the shipment.

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