Water

Where everything begins

Water

Where everything begins

Egypt seeks to embed water at the center of economic growth planning

Where everything begins

Water plays a fundamental role across the economy, as it underpins all drivers of growth, be it agricultural production, energy generation, industry or manufacturing. It also connects these sectors into a broader system that must balance social development with environmental interests. This year under housing and wastewater management, the Ministry of International Cooperation secured financing for $1.417 billion from the Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development, World Bank, Kuwaiti Fund for Arab Economic Development, and the AfDB, EBRD and Germany.

People at the Core

Throughout history, the Nile River has been Egypt’s main artery of transport, fertility and wealth used for a variety of purposes including domestic use, agricultural irrigation, industry, and fisheries. Amidst an increasing consumption rate, the river can not be the only source for clean water, which is why the Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation has adopted a four-way strategy to mitigate water scarcity and bridge the water gap for its people.

The Egypt 2050 strategy

The Egypt 2050 strategy is based on four pillars: 1) improving water quality 2) developing water resources 3) rationalizing consumption 4) creating an enabling environment for sustainable development.

Projects in Action

In June 2020, together with the Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development (AFESD), a $249 million financing agreement for Bahr El-Baqar drainage system was signed for sewage and agricultural waste treatment to achieve the optimum utilization of Egypt's available water resources and is part of the Sinai Peninsula development programme.

The objective of the system is to recover all the wastewater that flows along the Bahr El-Baqar drain. It winds for 106 km, from the governorate of Dakahlia to Sharqia, and from the governorate of Ismailia to the governorate of Port-Saïd. The effluents that enter the drain during the flow come from Sinai households, industries and plantations in the region. The plant handling the wastewater will have a capacity of 5 million m³/day, making it the largest in Egypt and one of the largest on the African continent. An additional $183 million went into the same project to optimize sewage. This mega project is being implemented through a joint venture with two private sector companies; the Arab Contractors and Orascom Construction. The project’s cost is estimated at $1.15 billion and aims to treat 5.6 million cubic feet of water per day, and reclaim 473,256 acres in the northern and central Sinai Peninsula. Another major national project in Sinai, is the Water Desalination Plant for Eastern Port Said, that has reached 95% completion. The new plant is designed to fulfill the demand for water for various purposes, including drinking, agricultural, and industrial activities. The desalination plant will have a capacity of 150,000 cubic metres per day, with plans to be expanded in the future to a capacity of 250,000 cubic metres per day to serve about 500,000 people. In September 2020, Al Mahmasa Water Reclamation Plan was awarded the ENR Global Best Projects Award in the Water/Wastewater category. The plant has the capacity to treat up to 1 million cu m of water a day and was built on 42,000 sq m of land and will irrigate up to 100,000 acres of land in central Sinai.

Valuing Water, Valuing Livelihoods

In September 2020, and during the UN 75th Anniversary, the Ministry of International Cooperation together with the USAID inaugurated the Wastewater Treatment Plant expansion location in the Al-Hubail region of Luxor.

The Ministry of International Cooperation joined another visit to Egypt’s Holding Company for Water and Wastewater and Cairo’s main water treatment plant on Rod El Farag, in November 2020. The U.S. Government through USAID helped establish the HCWW and Egyptian Water Regulatory Authority to improve Egypt’s ability to provide water and sanitation services. The plant continues to serve more than 5 million people every day, with plans to expand the Central Cairo Water System.

Fit for Purpose

The Ministry of International Cooperation joined another visit to Egypt’s Holding Company for Water and Wastewater and Cairo’s main water treatment plant on Rod El Farag, in November 2020. The U.S. Government through USAID helped establish the HCWW and Egyptian Water Regulatory Authority to improve Egypt’s ability to provide water and sanitation services. The plant continues to serve more than 5 million people every day, with plans to expand the Central Cairo Water System. The World Bank’s Sustainable Rural Sanitation Services Program in Egypt aims to strengthen institutions and policies in increasing access and in improving rural sanitation services in Beheira, Dakahliya, and Sharkiya, operating in coordination with six water and sanitation companies in the Nile Delta; and finances the companies to achieve fully functional and independently verified sanitation household connections. The program activities are described through three key result areas: 1) Improved sanitation access 2) Improved operational systems and practices of water and sanitation companies (WSCs) 3) Strengthened national sector framework, and the scope of each results area The total cost of the project amounts to about $500 million, covering both sanitation and health.

Purpose as the Driver

Within the development portfolio of the Ministry of International Cooperation, there are 43 projects worth $4.99 billion on SDG 6, making up 19.4% of total ODA.

Here are a few of the targets being met:

Goal 6 (Target 6.1)

Achieve universal and equitable access to safe and affordable drinking water for all.

Goal 6 (Target 6.2)

Achieve access to adequate and equitable sanitation and hygiene for all and end open defecation, paying special attention to the needs of women and girls and those in vulnerable situations.

Goal 6 (Target 6.3)

Improve water quality by reducing pollution, eliminating dumping and minimizing release of hazardous chemicals and materials, halving the proportion of untreated wastewater and substantially increasing recycling and safe reuse globally.

Goal 6 (Target 6.5)

Implement integrated water resources management at all levels, including through transboundary cooperation as appropriate.

Goal 6 (Target 6.A)

Expand international cooperation and capacity-building support to developing countries in water- and sanitation-related activities and programmes, including water harvesting, desalination, water efficiency, wastewater treatment, recycling and reuse technologies.

Goal 6 (Target 6.B)

Support and strengthen the participation of local communities in improving water and sanitation management.